The EESC’s New Director

Carolyn is a maker and fixer who is comfortable dismantling car engines!

At the beginning of the last school year, I wrote to tell you that I was leaving the EESC to chase other adventures and explore new realms of creativity.

Finding a successor wasn’t easy. The next director had to be passionate about engineering education, resourceful, ambitious, upstanding, dependable, technologically savvy, and just all around a good person. After much talk with many people, I found Carolyn Helm. She is the perfect fit to carry the torch and make it burn brighter. She has what it takes to expand the activities, books, workshops, kits, fun stuff and everything else that will make the center a fantastic resource for everything related to engineering and STEM education.

Carolyn Helm has worked for the Southern Regional Education Board for the past 18 years. She helped to develop and grow Project Lead The Way from programs in 23 schools to thousands of middle and high schools across the country. Her current focus is assisting career and technical teachers and administrators to develop and sustain problem-based instruction and institute research-based best practices in CTE schools.

She has presented and conducted workshops at numerous national and state conferences including:

  • High Schools That Work
  • National Association of State Career and Technical Directors
  • National Association of School Superintendents
  • ACTE

Early in her career Carolyn designed facilities, curriculum models, and operational plans for both high school and middle school Model Engineering Academies. In fact, her granddaughter attended one of the middle school academies and decided to become an engineer! Carolyn’s variety of professional experiences such as electrical estimating and manufacturing engineering, along with her graduate degree in Educational Leadership as well as her innate love of “making things work” have made her uniquely qualified to take the helm at the Engineering Education Service Center.

You’ll still hear from me about once a month for most of this upcoming school year and you can still ask me questions about engineering careers.

I’m leaving you in very capable hands. Have no fear, Carolyn is here!

I’m Done Pounding

Celeste BaineFor the last 18 years, I’ve worked tirelessly to promote engineering education by showing it as a way to change the world, the best education available, and a viable career option for girls and boys. In this pursuit, I’ve authored 22 books, published three videos, and founded the Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) workshop. I’ve run contests for engineering posters, engineering music, and engineering curriculum. I’ve given keynotes and presentations at over 100 colleges, universities, schools, events and conferences. I’ve won five awards for this work and in return, I’ve traveled to every state and experienced the joy of having a custom-made career that gives back. I’m truly blessed and so thankful for the opportunities provided and for the people I have met along the way.

But now the time has come for a new adventure. I’ve decided to chase the Celeste Watch Company dream to see where it will take me. I will be dismantling the EESC over the rest of the school year. Up until July 2017, I will still be available to facilitate the Mother/Daughter TEA workshop, the Engineering Exploration Day and all of my other teacher trainings. If you want to hold any of these events in the Spring, now is the time to get on my calendar.

However, it is my hope that the Mother/Daughter TEA workshop will find a new home this summer with educators who can fan the fire by traveling to hold TEAs and offering Train-the-Trainer workshops. It is my hope that an educator somewhere who wants to earn side-money will take over the inventory of C’s Blast Packs and offer these turn-key solutions as a way to help schools promote engineering. And it is my hope that the work I’ve done has made a difference in your perspective or career.

If you are interested in running with the torch, don’t hesitate to drop me an email.

 

 

Future Engineers Expected in Tulsa

TTT1I’m back in Eugene after several wildly successful days of training teachers and inspiring students in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I trained 23 new teachers to hold Mother/Daughter Engineering Days. The Engineering Day, or TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) workshops, are designed to allow 40 middle school girls and their moms to do hands-on building projects together and learn about engineering careers and opportunities. If you follow my work, you know that this is the best workshop I have ever seen for getting girls interested in engineering. In all, Oklahoma now has 76 certified TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) trainers!

The day following the TEA training, I held an advanced TEA training so the trainers could experience additional activities and find even more ways to excite girls about pursuing an engineering or STEM career.  We completed five additional hands-on activities and shared implementation strategies. The advanced training was developed to help middle and high school educators with no engineering background build upon the activities previously facilitated in a TEA. The advanced training is ideal for those who want to continue working with a select group of mothers and daughters.

We followed-up these two trainings with a Mother/Daughter TEA event on Saturday. Attended by 26 families, the girls and moms moved through the activities while the teachers simultaneously observed, participated and cemented their knowledge on holding TEAs. This was the best scenario for any certified trainer because they are ready to hit the ground running. Not only are they comfortable with the activities and event organization but each school left the training with a toolkit of materials to hold their own events. All of the materials, handouts, prizes and instructions are included.

To make the best use of my time, I also gave the lunchtime keynote to 400 girls who attended a Sonia Kovalevsky Day celebration (she was a famous mathematician) at Tulsa Community College. The girls were engaged and fired-up! Many girls received my book Is There an Engineer Inside You? as a prize and I signed many copies.

Tulsa really rolled-out the red carpet for me! I couldn’t have asked for a better reception!

This area should be unstoppable for getting girls on the fast track to a STEM career.

Advanced Train the Trainer Workshop

Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude)

Advanced Train the Trainer Workshop

Training Date Just Added!

February 19, 2016 – Tulsa, OK

All Certified TEA trainers are welcome to join in this training to take your knowledge and experience to the next level. The Advanced Train the Trainer Workshop builds on the projects and activities from the first training. Only participants who have attended the first training may come to the advanced training.

A Parent/Child TEA event will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2016 to reinforce the training.sumner1

Trainees receive:

  • Customized Materials for their Toolkits
  • 40 copies of Is There an Engineer Inside You?
  • A Jump Drive of Engineering Presentations, Surveys, Literature and Grant Application Resources
  • A Training Binder
  • A Certificate of Completion

The advanced Mother/Daughter TEA training is the next step for trainers. If you want to do more activities and build on what you already know, this is the perfect training for you!

Participants will complete four hands-on activities, take home materials kits for two of the four activities, be provided with a presentation and handouts for parents, and receive surveys and literature for grant applications.

Hands-on activities integrating science concepts, technology skills and tools, and mathematical processes provide contextual learning opportunities in a STEM environment. These activities parallel real-world engineering tasks and problem-solving opportunities. By using this powerful workshop toolkit, you will be able to show both mothers and daughters that engineering is not something to be afraid of but a realistic way to solve the problems of everyday life and a very viable career opportunity! The lessons and activities will actively engage girls in learning about engineering and our technological world by applying creativity and innovation as they complete the projects.

Celeste Baine, the workshop leader, is the winner of the Norm Augustine Award for being one of those rare individuals that can show the wonder and excitement of engineering. She is one of the top speakers on engineering education and motivating students. Celeste will make this workshop an enormous success! She is a high-energy, high content, how-to speaker. You will leave the workshop armed with instructions and materials.

The day includes:

1. Six hours of hands-on instruction

2. Materials and resources for your own workshops:

  • Participants can choose 2 out of 4 materials kits.
  • 40 copies of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for distribution during the TEA
  • Jump drive of engineering presentations, resources, surveys and literature for grant applications.
  • Training Binder (hard copy and electronic)

3. “TEA Advanced Certified Trainer” Certificate

Training Cost: $499/person

Register for Training

Apply to Hold a TEA Workshop facilitated by Celeste Baine | Certified Trainer Toolkit Refills

Recruiting Girls

If you want to engage students and parents, recruit for your engineering classes or motivate students, these workshops are the answer!

Below is table that outlines two events that can help you promote engineering and/or STEM careers. Of those polled, 96% of students that attended say they are now considering an engineering (or STEM) career.

All available dates in 2016 are listed in our new online booking system.

Jump aboard now because the train is already moving.

Parent/Child Workshops!

Engineering Exploration Day (EED)Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude)
Who attendsParent or guardian and middle school son or daughter.

*Ages can range from 5th-10th grade.
Usually Mother and middle school daughter. Can also be a Parent/Daughter Day so that either parent can attend.

*Ages can range from 5th-10th grade.
Number of attendeesUp to 40 teams of parents and children.Up to 40 teams of mothers and daughters.
Time of eventMost often, this event is held on a Saturday morning from 9:00am-1:00pm or 10:00am-2:00pm. Mini sessions can also run from 5:00-8:00pm on any night of the week.Most often, this event is held on a Saturday morning from 9:00am-1:00pm or 10:00am-2:00pm. Mini sessions can also run from 5:00-8:00pm on any night of the week.
Celeste Baine's ResponsibilitiesShe will bring all materials needed to engage no more than 40 parent/child teams in hands-on engineering activities for the entire workshop. Activities are customizable but usually include solving problems, building tabletop hovercrafts, designing catapults, helmets or cranes.

She will also bring prizes, and a copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for each student.
She will bring all materials needed to engage no more than 40 mother/daughter teams in hands-on engineering activities for the entire workshop. Activities are customizable but usually include solving problems, building tabletop hovercrafts, designing prosthetic hands, helmets or cranes and placing a band-aid on a Whale.

She will also bring prizes, a take-home engineering kit and a copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for each student.
Host Organization's Responsibilities1. Provide the workshop location.
2. Marketing, inviting and registering students and parents.
3. Provide morning snacks and lunch.
1. Provide the workshop location.
2. Marketing, inviting and registering students and parents.
3. Provide morning snacks and lunch.
Host one of these very popular workshops in your community!

In addition, if you want to have many of these workshops at your location (a very good idea), attend one of our Train the Trainer workshops to get on the fast track to offering this extraordinary opportunity. An advanced training is also in the works for 2016.

For more information, download our event planning guide or email Celeste.

Good News!

BigBookCoverGood news today! The Big Book of Engineering Challenges is shipping tomorrow! That’s a few days earlier than expected! Thank you to everyone who placed preorders! The response to this book has been so good that we are almost out of the free engineering activity books you can get with your preorder. There are just a few electrical and aerospace books left so if you want one, be sure to order right away. The free book offer is good until July 31 at midnight.

In the near future, look for materials kits that go along with some of our favorite projects in The Big Book of Engineering Challenges. Because eighty-five percent of this book are brand new, never seen before activities, your next school year is going to be more fun and enticing for students as you dig in and widen your activity base.

And don’t forget, if you’d like to supercharge your engineering instruction, we also offer professional development that goes along with The Big Book of Engineering Challenges. It’s a chance to hit the ground running, increase your confidence in engineering design and/or get different ideas and perspectives. These jam-packed and fast-paced workshops are dynamic, inspiring, cost effective and fun!

Professional Development Opportunity

I’m about to make the most amazing offer that I’ve ever made.

It’s free and there are no strings attached.

You even get to take home an Engineering PowerPack and classroom materials kits such as the Prosthetic Hand and Protect Your Noggin. Almost $600 worth of materials totally free. Are you in?

There are only 10 instructor slots available. First come, first serve.

Program Name: GLEE (Girls Love Exploring Engineering) Summer Camp and Simultaneous Professional Development

How it works:  On Monday, you will learn several activities while the girls do ice breakers, watch videos and interact with other facilitators, a college engineering student and several high school students.  From Tuesday-Friday, armed with the activities you learned and constructed on Monday, you team facilitate the activities with the girls. During the week, when the girls have a field trip, watch videos, or listen to panel discussions (basically every spare minute), you go back into training. When the girls go home, we will refine the activities and discuss integration into your classroom or situation.

Historically, by the last day of the camp, 95% of the girls said they wanted to be engineers! You will go back to your classroom with increased confidence and bundles of materials to implement more engineering education into your instruction.

Audience: Late Elementary, Middle and Early High School Teachers, 5 days- 7 hours each day.

Location: Memorial High School, Tulsa, OK

Register Here

Engineering and Sheep

windfarmsheepAbout two weeks ago, I attended the birthday party of a good friend. In making conversation I met a woman who owned a sheep farm. After I had the pleasure of learning oodles of information about sheep, she said,

“Don’t you encourage girls to go into engineering?”

“Yes, and boys too.” I said.

Then, to my horror, she said, “My daughter would have made a great engineer, she thinks just like a man.”

I sat there for a few seconds with my mouth open, unable to form words. I knew I couldn’t change her perception of engineering in the space of a party without getting crazy and without enough time. In addition, her daughter was now in her late twenties with children so no immediate change in behavior would change the trajectory of her daughter’s life.

When I recovered, in my struggle to stay civil and keep my voice steady, I said,

“What does your daughter do now?”

She said, “She never really found the right thing. She is working as a receptionist.”

I stared at the floor as she went back to talking about sheep. How I wish she and her daughter had the opportunity to attend a Mother/Daughter TEA Workshop all those years ago. The event is a great education for mothers too and provides the support for a daughter to pursue a STEM career. In many workshops, I’ve had mothers approach me and ask if it was too late for them to become engineers. I’ve heard countless stories from mothers about how an event or person steered them away from engineering but now, they wanted to try again.

We don’t have to let history repeat itself. In the Mother/Daughter TEA workshop, mothers will see that their daughters make great engineers. The idea that engineering is only for people that think like men is skewed and outdated. Exposing mothers (or both parents) to engineering and to how her daughter can have a meaningful, prestigious and lucrative career is the one of the goals of the Mother/Daughter TEA workshop. They will understand the large range of career possibilities and see how and where their daughter’s talents fit. For any girl, having her mothers support can not only build a stronger relationship but can also increase her self-confidence. This event can provide the scaffolding to pursue her dreams.

The Mother/Daughter TEA is a 4-hour hands-on engineering workshop, usually on a Saturday morning, held in your community. If you aren’t doing these or planning one, contact me for more information. I still have about 10 Saturdays available this school year and would be happy to help you jump start an engineering program or recruit for your classes next year.

Crazy Popular Workshops!

If you want to promote engineering and/or STEM careers, below is table that outlines two of the best workshops you can offer students and parents. Of those polled, 96% of students that attended say they are now considering an engineering (or STEM) career.

If you want to engage students and parents, recruit for your engineering classes or motivate students, these workshops are the answer! All available dates in 2015 are listed in our new online booking system.

Jump aboard now because the train is already moving.

Parent/Child Workshops!

Engineering Exploration Day (EED)Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude)
Who attendsParent or guardian and middle school son or daughter.

*Ages can range from 5th-10th grade.
Usually Mother and middle school daughter. Can also be a Parent/Daughter Day so that either parent can attend.

*Ages can range from 5th-10th grade.
Number of attendeesUp to 40 teams of parents and children.Up to 40 teams of mothers and daughters.
Time of eventMost often, this event is held on a Saturday morning from 9:00am-1:00pm or 10:00am-2:00pm. Mini sessions can also run from 5:00-8:00pm on any night of the week.Most often, this event is held on a Saturday morning from 9:00am-1:00pm or 10:00am-2:00pm. Mini sessions can also run from 5:00-8:00pm on any night of the week.
Celeste Baine's ResponsibilitiesShe will bring all materials needed to engage no more than 40 parent/child teams in hands-on engineering activities for the entire workshop. Activities are customizable but usually include solving problems, building tabletop hovercrafts, designing catapults, helmets or cranes.

She will also bring prizes, and a copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for each student.
She will bring all materials needed to engage no more than 40 mother/daughter teams in hands-on engineering activities for the entire workshop. Activities are customizable but usually include solving problems, building tabletop hovercrafts, designing prosthetic hands, helmets or cranes and placing a band-aid on a Whale.

She will also bring prizes, a take-home engineering kit and a copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for each student.
Host Organization's Responsibilities1. Provide the workshop location.
2. Marketing, inviting and registering students and parents.
3. Provide morning snacks and lunch.
1. Provide the workshop location.
2. Marketing, inviting and registering students and parents.
3. Provide morning snacks and lunch.
Host one of these very popular workshops in your community!

In addition, if you want to have many of these workshops at your location (a very good idea), attend one of our Train the Trainer workshops to get on the fast track to offering this extraordinary opportunity.

For more information, download our event planning guide or email Celeste.

Girls and Engineering – Training Date Added

Reserve your spot in our upcoming Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) Train-the-Trainer Workshop! This event is one of the best I’ve ever seen at getting middle school girls interested in engineering and technical careers. If you aren’t holding one in your community, your girls are missing out on an extraordinary opportunity.

Date: February 21, 2015, 9:00-3:30

Mother/Daughter TEA held at Ferris State University in Nov, 2014

 

The Train-the-Trainer workshop is an opportunity to become a certified TEA trainer and enables you to use our materials, resources and marketing connections to hold your own Mother/Daughter TEA events in your community. When you want to host TEAs in your community, your credentials will save time and money.  You’ll walk into a room of 40 girls (and Moms or Dads too) with everything needed to smoothly facilitate an engaging event that will help prepare them for high wage opportunities in the engineering and technology industries.

There’s more! This upcoming training is very special in that everyone who comes will receive a free Is There an Engineer Inside You? upgrade!  Usually, within each toolkit is a set of 40 copies of Ideas in Action: a Girl’s Guide to Careers in Engineering that you can give to each girl to take home and learn more about engineering careers. For this Feb 21 workshop only, you will receive a case of Is There an Engineer Inside You? instead of Ideas in Action. This is a $998 value – more than the cost of the workshop!

Date: February 21, 2015, 9:00-3:30

Location: Willamalane Adult Center, Springfield, OR

If you are planning to attend this training, register right away to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

Girls, parents learn about engineering

ferristeaThe Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) Workshop is simply the best event I have ever seen at getting girls interested in engineering. Designed for middle school girls, the STEM workshop strives to educate girls and their mothers and/or fathers about the abundant opportunities in engineering and all fields of technology.

If you aren’t already holding events like this, drop everything and position yourself to hold one this upcoming Spring. Spring is a good time because students and parents are looking ahead, thinking about classes, and reviewing options for next year. I have facilitated this event in both the Fall and Spring. The majority of workshops, held in the Spring, are sold out.

I started this month at Ferris State University. The event was held for 8th-11th grade girls. Two weeks from the kickoff, with only 40 slots available, we had six families on the waiting list. This event was special because the University president stopped by to show his support, the admissions department talked about scholarships, and after the workshop, when the girls were very excited about engineering and technology careers, the administration took the mother/daughter teams on a tour of the school. It was a jam-packed day of learning and exploring.

From there, I traveled to Weber State University for our annual event. Weber State University has held these events every year for the last six years. In fact, it is so popular that we now hold two events – a mini event on Friday night and the regular TEA on Saturday. Each time, they pack the house with girls that are interested in engineering and technology careers.

As I reflect on the three workshops, read over emails from happy parents, and download the photos, I couldn’t be happier about the lives we touched.

Find out more about holding a Mother or Parent /Daughter Workshop your community.

 

Engineering Workshops

Want to attend a fast paced dynamic workshop full of of hands-on activities and that motivate and engage students?

Below is a summary of the most popular workshops I offer. Each can be facilitated at your location and customized for your attendees.

1. Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) – Most Popular

The Mother/Daughter Technology Engineering Aptitude (TEA) is a one day event that provides middle school girls with a tremendous opportunity to complete hands-on activities and interact with an engineering professional to learn about valuable, high-wage opportunities in the engineering industry. The Mother/Daughter TEA event was founded to encourage young women to take an interest in pursuing a career in the engineering industry.

The idea for organizing a mother/daughter engineering workshop came from the belief that a supportive environment at home that encourages engineering and technological careers offers young girls an extraordinary opportunity to develop non-traditional interests and aspirations. Mothers were involved to expose them to the kinds of engineering careers that are available and to influence them to encourage their daughters to learn more about engineering.

More Information


 

2. Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) Train-the-Trainer

Our Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) event is one of the best approaches to getting middle school girls interested in engineering and technical careers. In surveys from previous events, 95% of girls said they are now interested in learning more about engineering!

The Train-the-Trainer workshop for holding your own Mother/Daughter TEA events is an opportunity to become a certified TEA trainer and use our materials, resources and marketing connections to host an unlimited number of TEAs in your community. After the training, you’ll walk into a room of 40 girls (and Moms or Dads too) with everything needed to smoothly facilitate an engaging event that will help prepare the girls for high wage opportunities in the engineering and technology industries.

Upcoming trainings: Nov 7-8, 2014 and Spring 2015 (exact date and location TBD)

trainingbanner

More Information


 

3. Teaching Engineering Made Easy

Audience: Late Elementary, Middle and Early High School Teachers, 1 day- 6 hours, Max 26 teachers

This is a fast-paced jammed-packed one-day workshop perfect for in service and/or professional development training. Teachers learn how to bring engineering into the classroom and keep students engaged by providing hands-on activities that are content rich and fun too! Based on activities in Teaching Engineering Made Easy: A Friendly Introduction to Engineering Activities for Middle School Teachers (2nd Edition), the activities will cover all of STEM and NGSS integration. Teachers can either use engineering as a way to enhance their teaching of science or they can teach “engineering” as the application of math, science, and technology.

This can also be two day workshop that covers both books one and two.

More Information


 

4. GLEE (Girls Love Exploring Engineering) Summer Camp and Simultaneous Professional Development

Audience: 30 Middle School Girls and Ten K-12 Teachers, 5 days – 7 hours each day

GLEE is a summer camp for middle school girls facilitated by teachers that are simultaneously learning to facilitate engineering activities.

How it works:  On Monday, teachers learn several activities while the girls do ice breakers, watch videos and be entertained by other facilitators, college engineering and high school students.  From Tuesday-Friday, the teachers, armed with the activities they learned and constructed on Monday, team facilitate the activities with the girls. During the week, when the girls have a field trip, watch videos, or listen to panel discussions (basically every spare minute), the teachers go back into training. When the girls go home, the teachers refine the activities and discuss integration into their classrooms.  Historically, by the last day of the camp, most (95% +) of the girls said they wanted to be engineers and the teachers go back to their classes with increased confidence and bundles of materials to implement more engineering education into their instruction.

More Information

 

New Training Dates Set

Our Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) events are extremely popular! This event is one of the best I’ve ever seen at getting middle school girls interested in engineering and technical careers. If you aren’t holding one in your community, your girls are missing out on an extraordinary opportunity.

 

This November, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a Train-the-Trainer workshop for holding your own Mother/Daughter TEA events. This is an opportunity to become a certified TEA trainer. Being a certified trainer enables you to use our materials, resources and marketing connections to host an unlimited number of TEAs in your community. When you want to host TEAs in your community, your credentials will save time and money.  You’ll walk into a room of 40 girls (and Moms or Dads too) with everything needed to smoothly facilitate an engaging event that will help prepare them for high wage opportunities in the engineering and technology industries.

There’s more! This upcoming training is very special. After training on Friday, we will have the unique opportunity to attend and team teach an actual event. Not only will you become a certified TEA trainer, you will see an event in action and solidify the concepts learned the previous day. You will facilitate your community events with increased confidence and know-how.

Dates: Nov 7-8, 2014

Location: Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, MI

If you are planning to attend this training, register right away to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

Know Your Community

I read the article below at first nodding my head in agreement. After a few minutes, I came to realize that while the message may be true for some girls, it’s not true for all. Marketing engineering, technology and computer science careers to women is not a one size fits all prospect.

The article states that we use pink, curly fonts, and butterflies too much to bridge the gender divide. That we assume we need to turn technology into something girly to make it attractive.

How not to attract women to coding: Make tech pink – SFGate.

I personally can relate to this. I grew up in the SF Bay Area and was not attracted to pink media. I was much happier playing with my brother’s LEGO than Barbie and I wouldn’t have been attracted to pink LEGO either. I wanted to be taken seriously and knew that wouldn’t happen if my game wasn’t on the same field as all the boys on the block. As I grew older and gained confidence, I became much more attracted to color. Today, I prefer the teal, purple and tangerine LEGO blocks. Is that because I understand that I don’t have to be like the boys to make a valuable contribution? That different contributions are not less valuable?

From promoting engineering all over the country and facilitating over 80 Mother/Daughter TEA Workshops (engineering events for Mother and Daughters) I can say, without equivocation, that one size does not fit all. Some girls love fancy script and a girly atmosphere and some prefer a gender neutral environment. This also varies greatly by geography and community.

The best approach to reaching girls is to know your community and have a sense for what is interesting, what has worked in the past and what hasn’t been tried. If pink flyers with curly fonts work in your community, keep using them. If you find you aren’t getting enough girls to sign up for your program(s), change how you market. Just like engineering design, marketing is also an evolving process. What worked last year might not work this year. Test your messages, evaluate and redesign if necessary.

 

What’s Your Inspiration?

What started you on the path to engineering or your current career? Can you identify a moment, person or thing that made you change lanes, take a turn or stopped you in your tracks?

17 years old

17 years old

Last year, I gave a keynote in Kansas City for Science Pioneers. A few minutes into it, I talked about my first car – how much fun it was to try to fix it, the book that made it possible, the Flower Power mechanics and how I knew I wanted a cleaner and more diverse career. That car was a 1962 VW Bug and lead to one of the biggest ah-ha moments in my life.

From wanting it to drive better, I learned that I had mechanical aptitude, I could rebuild an engine if the instructions were good enough, troubleshooting was fun, and a book could change your life.

holdingbugLast week, to my delight, a small box that contained a shiny red VW Bug came in the mail. As I looked at it and took my trip down memory lane, I remembered how much that car inspired me. Without that experience, how would I have discovered my mechanical ability? Would I have this love affair with books? Would I be writing this today without that experience?

Thank you Paul for reminding me about how I got here and encouraging me to continue my own journey. We are all inspired to become who we are by something or someone. Make some time for yourself to remember, appreciate and share the experience. You never know who you may inspire with your story.

 

Tracking and Measuring

tea2011One of the most difficult aspects of providing outreach to middle school students is tracking and measuring your success. It’s difficult to follow each students’ progress (interest in a STEM career) through high school and if they move out of your district, it’s practically impossible.

teasumner

I have said many times that the Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) is one of the best events that I have ever seen at getting girls interested in STEM careers.

Last weekend, I received this email from a happy Mom:

glee2013Dear Celeste, My daughter is home from college for the weekend. You had a direct impact on her back in 2010 during the “Mother-Daughter Technology Tea” at Ridgeline Middle School in Yelm. At the time she was only about 14 years old. She is currently majoring in Technology at WWU. I am so proud of her and thankful to you for your inspiration, insight, and encouragement. You are a blessing to young women everywhere. Thank you for exposing our daughters to a wonderful and fulfilling career path.”

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I’m so thankful that I have a career that helps me make this type of impact.

If you are involved in outreach, keep the faith. You never know what may land in your inbox when you least expect it.

Engineering Exploration Day

sumner4 sumner3 sumner2 sumner1Last weekend I had the privilege of facilitating an Engineering Exploration Day for a school district in Washington State. If you follow my work you know about the Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) workshops. In the Mother Daughter TEA workshop, Moms and their middle school daughters complete engineering projects together and learn about valuable, high-wage opportunities in the engineering industry. They hear about how women are impacting the field and get insight into career opportunities they may enjoy. The Mother/ Daughter TEA event was founded to encourage young women to take an interest in pursuing a career in engineering.

Every year, I hear from parents that also want their boys to have the same opportunity. As a result, last weekend we debuted “Engineering Exploration Day.” In this workshop, we had middle school girls and boys, moms and dads. We stuck to the same model of four hours on Saturday morning and built cranes, flingers and boats. The workshop moved along quickly and everyone stayed engaged. We had a great time.

If you are trying to recruit for your GTT, STEM 101 or any other engineering classes, this is a great workshop to hold because by the end of it, you’ll have the parental support at home that is so critical to students making good choices.

More Information…

Parent/Daughter Day at Weber State University

Born to Rock creations from activity in Teaching Engineering Made Easy 2.

Born to Rock creations from activity in Teaching Engineering Made Easy 2.

Friday and Saturday I facilitated two Parent/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) Workshops at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. If you follow this blog, you have probably heard about my Mother/Daughter TEA workshops. Last weekend’s workshop was the same event except we open it to any parent that wants to attend with their daughter. Sometimes Moms come, sometimes Dads, and sometimes both parents attend. In this particular workshop, a Mom or a Dad attended with their middle school daughter and they completed engineering projects together. It was a great opportunity for families to learn about engineering careers. Not only did the middle school daughter learn about all that she can do with an engineering degree but her parents also learned that she can do it. They probably also saw that she was or could be good at it.

In the workshops, three amazing things happened:

1. A Dad told me that his older daughter attended our first workshop four years ago and became very excited about being an engineer. She just received a full ride scholarship to University of Utah to study electrical engineering! He was attending again with his younger daughter.

2. A 12-year old girl enjoyed the engineering challenge activity “Born to Rock” (in picture above) so much that she wants to do it at her birthday party.

3. Two Moms approached me about going back to school to become engineers. Did I think it was a good idea for them?

This workshop is the best I’ve ever seen at getting girls excited about engineering. Having parents attend and work on projects with their daughters supports her efforts not only during the workshop but also at home.

Information about holding a Mother/Daughter TEA at your location.

Interactive Keynote Presentations

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Teachers demonstrating their prosthetic hand design.

Last week, I gave an interactive keynote for Science Pioneers in Kansas City. We talked about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) along with engineering design while they creatively designed, modeled, evaluated and optimized two projects from Teaching Engineering Made Easy. The 200 teachers in attendance were exceptional students in that they embraced the projects and kept evaluating and optimizing if their designs weren’t turning out as expected – and they did this with a smile on their face.

The activities within Teaching Engineering Made Easy are a great introduction to teaching engineering design because they do not require a formal science lab and they integrate well with the Disciplinary Core Ideas of the NGSS. Students will identify needs, define problems (ETS1.A), identify design criteria and constraints, brainstorm solutions (ETS1.B), evaluate their solutions (ETS1.C) and optimize their designs (ETS1.D).

Professional Development Workshop

teme2ndThere is still time to book your Professional Development workshop for this Summer!

Workshop: Teaching Engineering Made Easy (Beginning and Advanced Workshops Available)
Audience: Teachers, after school programs, informal education programs
Time required: 1 day – 6 hours of hands-on time
Where: Your location – we come to you!

This fast-paced jammed-packed workshop is perfect for in service and/or professional development training. Learn how to bring engineering into the classroom and keep students engaged by providing activities that are content rich and fun too! Based on activities in Teaching Engineering Made Easy, this workshop is sure to get participants energized and excited about getting back to the classroom.

What teachers learned about engineering that they didn’t know before the workshop

  • All of it!  Basically how to incorporate it into my classroom
  • All the different types of engineers and what they specifically do.
  • All the facets of engineering that I hadn’t thought about before.
  • All varieties of engineers – what to do/specialize in
  • Delivery – How to Make Engineering exciting to students.
  • Different activities to incorporate in my classroom.
  • Different fields of engineering
  • Engineering is everywhere – engineers are behind innovations and ordinary every day stuff.
  • Engineering job specifics
  • How many different kinds of engineers there were
  • Everything you see was ‘engineered’!
  • How simple it would be to use engineering activities with my students.
  • I can easily teach this! I loved the silent brainstorming too!
  • I have a better understanding of “How” to do a better job
  • It doesn’t have to be expensive to do these activities.
  • It doesn’t take a lot of money for some activities that can be created and expanded on.
  • Learned a lot of info about the different types of engineering.
  • Lots – kinds of engineers, value of perseverance, cooperation, communication (which is much overlooked, silent brainstorming was a great idea!)
  • More about specific types of engineering
  • Silent Brainstorming – which encourages collaboration. It was a nice reinforcement of the power of positive reinforcement & encouragement that the ‘teacher’ gave us ‘students’.
  • That as the teacher I DO NOT have to have all the answers. It’s OK for the kids to fix their own mistakes.
  • That you could make/build “things” with little resources.
  • The fields of engineering are so diverse.  I had no idea that there were so many different types of engineers.

More Information