Summer Camp Success!

Robotics Activity

A few weeks ago, I ran a summer camp in Tulsa that simultaneously trained 10 teachers on engineering design while also serving as a summer camp for 34 middle school girls.

How it worked: On Monday, teachers learned several activities while the girls did ice breakers, watched videos and were entertained by other facilitators and several engineering students from the local colleges and high school (PLTW and robotics students). On Tuesday – Friday, the teachers, armed with the activities they learned and constructed on Monday, team facilitated the activities with the girls. When the girls had a field trip to local industry, watched videos, or listened to panel discussions (basically every spare moment), the teachers went back into training. When the girls went home, we refined our activities and hashed out what worked and what didn’t. It was an amazing week lead by amazing people! By the last day, 95% of the girls said they wanted to be an engineer and the teachers went back to class with increased confidence and bundles of materials to implement more engineering education into their instruction.

Inspirational message: Never underestimate the power of a full engaged and committed team of people. They can and will do amazing work!

8th Annual Poster Contest

This year, when getting ready to launch the poster contest I decided to do some snooping around on Facebook to see if past high school poster contest winners were in engineering school now. To my delight, 4 of 5 that I searched for were definitely enrolled! It’s a small sample but still noteworthy.

So either:

  1. Researching engineering careers and producing a visual representation of that research stimulates an increased interest in the field. Contestants may learned things about engineering they didn’t know before.
  2. Students that win have been interested in engineering and that enables them to produce more thoughtful posters.
  3. Because many classes in numerous schools enter the contest as a class assignment, this may produce a collective consciousness about engineering that contains more information about possible careers than would be possible otherwise.

Whatever the case, I’m happy to see that this contest is making an impact!

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EESC’s 8th Annual Poster Contest Kickoff!

The EESC’s 2012 poster contest will include two themes. Contestants may enter one or both up to three times. Posters should be fun, motivational and inspire students to pursue a degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Category 1: “Grand Challenges for Engineering” – This theme is back for another round! Throughout human history, engineering has driven the advance of civilization. In the last century, engineering recorded its grandest accomplishments. The widespread development and distribution of electricity and clean water, automobiles and airplanes, radio and television, spacecraft and lasers, antibiotics and medical imaging, and computers and the Internet are just some of the highlights from a century in which engineering revolutionized and improved virtually every aspect of human life.

For all of these advances, though, the century ahead poses formidable challenges. As the population grows and its needs and desires expand, the problem of sustaining civilization’s continuing advancement, while still improving the quality of life, is more immediate. Old and new threats to personal and public health demand more effective and more readily available treatments. Vulnerabilities to pandemic diseases, terrorist violence, and natural disasters require serious searches for new methods of protection and prevention. And products and processes that enhance the joy of living remain a top priority of engineering innovation.

Applying the rules of reason, the findings of science, the aesthetics of art, and the spark of creative imagination, engineers will continue the tradition of forging a better future. For more information on the Grand Challenges, visit: http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/8996.aspx

Category 2: “Women in STEM” – More women in the STEM workforce is vital to innovation, our economy and global competitiveness. Every day, inspiring women in a variety of STEM careers make a difference in the world. STEM literacy is a requirement in the 21st and possibly the best ticket to a good job, meaningful career, and a secure future.

Contest deadline: 11:59pm November 1, 2012

Winners will be notified by November 14, 2012

View the 2005-2011 winning posters here: http://www.stemposters.com/