Around the World

International-editionsThis blog today is about never letting others hold you down or convince you to give up the dream.

In 1998, my last year in engineering school, I wrote a book about going to engineering school and choosing a discipline to study (mechanical, electrical, civil, etc.) Because no one would publish it, I formed a publishing company and did it myself. I had no idea what I was doing but simply believed with all my heart and soul that anyone who wanted to go to college for engineering needed my book. About six months after publishing the book, the phone rang and to my great surprise, the caller ID said NASA. I tentatively answered the phone thinking they must have the wrong number, but no – they asked for me. They told me they loved my book and wanted to give it to everyone. From that moment on, all I had to do was figure out how to ramp up and hang on because I had lift-off. The book quickly became the #1 engineering career guide at Amazon and book publishers were now coming to me.

During that time, I received rejection notices from publishers, the Dean of the college refused to write a foreword and other students seemed less than interested. But, I knew there was nothing like it and that it would’ve been the perfect reference when I was making the decision to study engineering. With only a gut feeling, I sent it out into the world.

Eighteen years later, it is in its fifth edition and now covers 45 types of engineering and engineering technology. About 80,000 copies are in print and Chinese and Asian (India) editions were published last year. It is a testament to believing in yourself and your power to see and contribute to a better future. You may never know who, exactly, you are helping but I guarantee you will sleep well at night if you follow your heart and promote (do!) something good.

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.

 

 

Book Distribution Breakdown

The objective of the 100,000 Book Give-Away is to distribute 100,000 copies of Is There an Engineer Inside You?, the leading book on careers in engineering and engineering technology, to students, parents, school counselors, mentors and educators over 5 years.100K-graphic

How Books are Distributed

  • Partners will each receive 300+ copies to distribute in their communities to students, teachers, educators, or school counselors at any type of engineering event.
  • A customized copy of the book can be offered as a free download on each partner’s website.
  • A minimum of 1000 printed books will be donated to K-12 teachers and school counselors by Celeste Baine at conferences and engineering events.

The 100K Book Give-Away is an amazing program designed to help you easily expand your outreach, save money, save time, and provide a proven reference to students, parents, educators, counselors and mentors in your community. By distributing this book, recipients will have a resource that demystifies and promotes the profession while increasing awareness of engineering careers and opportunities.

Participation Deadline: August 8, 2016

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Customized Engineering Career Books

ITAEIY4_300x450This Fall, you can get copies of Is There an Engineer Inside You?, the leading book on engineering and engineering technology career information, with your logo on the front and back covers for up to 70% off the retail price and support a good cause at the same time.

We only offer this discount in August to take advantage of volume pricing.

If you have you been trying to introduce more students to engineering or trying to recruit more students into your program, this is a great opportunity for you to save time and money.

The fourth year of the 100,000 Book Give-Away Program is on the horizon. The goal of the program is to give away 100,000 books to students, teachers, and school counselors over a five year period.

Advantages of being an outreach partner:

  • Each partner will receive 300+ books with their logo on the front and back covers.
  • Each partner will receive a customized pdf copy for their website.
  • Books are only $7.35 each! That’s over 70% off! There is no other cost saving opportunity like this and it’s only offered once a year.
  • Each partner’s website will be included on the cover page of the website edition and in the acknowledgements of the print edition.
  • After the initial printing, partners can purchase additional books (no logo) for only $5 each.
  • Piggyback on a National Media Campaign and gain greater exposure for your program(s).

This year, as part of the Book Give-Away Program, a 5th Edition will be released! Right now, the book covers 41 types of engineering. The 5th edition will cover 45 types and also include expanded sections on women and minorities in engineering.

By partnering with Universities and organizations who want to promote engineering careers and motivate students to pursue engineering, to date, we have given away close to 50,000 copies! Books have been donated to schools, libraries, guidance counselors and teachers; distributed at engineering competitions, events, conferences and workshops; and are available as downloads from some partner websites.

Is There an Engineer Inside You? can reinforce your message by building on the information you share about what engineers, technologists and technicians do, helping explain the differences between engineering and engineering technology, and showing that engineering and engineering technology are degree paths that can lead to fulfilling careers.

For the first time, you can also now order smaller quantities of Is There an Engineer Inside You? with your logo on the front and backs covers at a discount by joining in the printing in August.

Early Bird Bonus – This renewal offer is coming early to help me manage the program. With 300+ requests for free books last year, I was overwhelmed. To give you an incentive to help, if you renew or join by June 5, you will receive an extra 10 books at no additional cost!

We only have two years left and 50,000 books to go! Become a partner today and by working together, we can ensure that every K-12 student has this valuable resource with your branding front and center. It’s a win-win.

More Information

Win a Book!

BigBookCoverWin a free copy of The Big Book of Engineering Challenges by sharing a strategy on my Facebook contest thread that you use to get students interested in learning more about engineering or STEM careers. We are giving away five books. The winners will be chosen at random. You can enter once per day. Winners will be announced on Monday, November 16, 2015.

Note: For every 100 comments, I will give away an additional five books! Increase your chance of winning by inviting your friends and colleagues to participate!

Comment: https://www.facebook.com/engineeringcareers

Build it, and They Will Come

Build what? A robot of course!

You may know about robots because you watched a deadly cyborg try to take over the world on television. Or, you are involved in or have seen a robotics competition, played with a Mindstorms LEGO set, or attended a science, engineering, or maker event. Although there are many definitions of a robot, in Robot Makers: An Essential Guide to Choosing a Career in Robotics, a robot is defined as an electromechanical device that can react to its environment and perform operations either on a tether by remote control, autonomously by wireless or Bluetooth connections, or as a hybrid of the two systems.

RobotMakerscover801x522In Robot Makers: An Essential Guide to Choosing a Career in Robotics, you will learn about working in the field of robotics, how it is exciting, and how it is getting more so every day. Because of technological leaps in the computer industry, many new opportunities are emerging. Engineers, programmers, and technicians design and maintain robots, research new applications for robots, and assist people in doing tasks that are less desirable. As such, robots have enormous potential for society. Equipped with the proper sensors, robots can inspect the quality of meat, measure the pollution emissions of manufacturing plants, assist in surgery, detect corrosion in sewer pipes, investigate the depths of a volcano, or assess the speed of a tornado. Robots can be used to improve the standard of living and provide more information about the planet or even the solar system.

Robot Makers explores the possible opportunities available for a career in robotics. It offers and provides students with information to help them determine the course of study they should pursue in high school as well as through college helping each student to make a career choice that will be rewarding as well as offer a life-long learning experience.

Visit the Engineering Education Service Center today to acquire your pre-publication copy of Robot Makers: An Essential Guide to Choosing a Career in Robotics. While there, you can review the table of contents and read a free sample of Chapter One. Take a few extra minutes to visit the other services offered at the Engineering Education Service Center (EESC). The EESC is an engineering education company that specializes in providing products for K-12 schools to teach and share the fun of engineering. From curriculum to books, DVDs, kits, apps and other motivational products, the EESC aims to make engineering understandable and accessible to everyone.

Pre-publication order bonuses!

  1. Everyone who orders before the May 1 publication date will receive a PowerPoint presentation on “Choosing a Career in Robotics” that you can use to talk to students about the available career choices. It’s colorful, graphically powerful, and is designed to save you time. As an extra bonus, on this particular PowerPoint, there are no copyright restrictions – it’s yours to use freely. You can edit it, pass it around or post it online – it’s up to you.
  2. For everyone who orders at least four copies (every library needs a copy), you will receive a Textrix Remote Control or Tetrix Autonomous Robotic Engineering Activity Guide. These guides, published by Pitsco and valued at $39.95, help students learn about robot engineering, simple machines, torque, power, and problem solving. Activities guide students in creating robots that draw, dance, herd golf balls, and more. These full-color guides can be used alone or as a supplement to current curriculum. Supplies are limited. One book per customer.

More Information

My Firstborn

ITAEIY4_300x450I refer to Is There an Engineer Inside You? as my firstborn and the genesis of who I became and what I do today. I began writing it when I was struggling in engineering school. It’s the book that I wish I’d had when making the decision to go to school.

That was back in 1997. The first edition was released in 1999. In 2000, the book was the #1 Engineering Career Guide at Amazon.com and I was asked to speak at a NASA conference.

Sixteen years later, I’m proud to say that it’s in the fourth edition and now published in not only the U.S. but also India and China. Seventeen colleges, schools, and organizations partnered with me last year to give away thousands to copies to students who want to be engineers or are considering an engineering degree.

It’s been, and continues to be, an amazing ride!

Book Title Contest Results

cuterobot1Last week we held a book title contest for my new book about careers in robotics. We had 42 titles submitted. The competition was fierce. We investigated, tried and explored each entry. In the end, we decided upon…… (drum roll please),

Robot Makers: Careers in Robotics

The prize goes to Mark Piotrowski for submitting RobotKeepers: Careers in Robotics. Although Mark’s submittal was not the title we ultimately selected, it served as the genesis of the idea.

Congratulations Mark!

Pre-publication copies will be available for Engineers Week 2015! Stay tuned for more about it in the coming months.

 

Book Give-Away Distribution

ITAEIY4_300x450If you missed the opportunity to get a free copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You?, you’ll have to wait until next year – unless you are one of the lucky ones who attends an event sponsored by one of our book give-away partners.

We are currently in the second year of a five year program to freely distribute 100,000 books. Books have been shipped all over the world and are also available as a free download on many partner’s websites.

In the 2013-2014 school year, about 8000 books were distributed.

This year, the numbers are already better! I am forecasting that almost 16,000 books will be distributed and downloaded – a 100% increase! There are 17 partners working hard to promote engineering education and this effort will undoubtedly reach more students, teachers, counselors, and parents.

If you have a special program and wish to receive books next year, watch for my 100K Book Give-Away announcement this Spring and jump in with your request/application.

2014-2015 EESC Distribution

  1. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (200 books)
  2. Global STEM Education Center (50 books)
  3. Nicholson STEM Academy (144 books)
  4. Reading High School (1 book)
  5. Everett Public Schools (2 books)
  6. Raisbeck Aviation High School (64 books)
  7. Rockingham Middle School (40 books)
  8. Bio-Med Academy (16 books)
  9. Penn Manor High School Engineering Club (100 books)
  10. Casa Verde High School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (30 books)
  11. Muscatine Community School District (40 books)
  12. Timberlane Regional High School (1 book)
  13. Hampton City Schools (18 books)
  14. Meadow Hill Middle School (15 books)
  15. Robbins AFB, GA (20 books)
  16. Union Public Schools (15 books)
  17. Affton High School – Future Strong STEM night (80 books)
  18. Assumption School (1 book)
  19. St. Cloud Area School District 742 (12 books)
  20. Syracuse University (40 books)
  21. Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering (6 books)
  22. Northampton Community College (10 books)
  23. Futureintech (20 books)
  24. Wichita State University, STEMpact2020 (40 books)

2014-2015 Book Give-Away Partners

My thanks and gratitude go to the Official National Partners that banded together to put this book in the hands of thousands of students. Each partner is giving away 300 books plus their websites are great places to visit and get a free download.

  1. Auburn University
  2. Boston Society of Civil Engineers
  3. Christian Brothers University
  4. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  5. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  6. Louisiana Tech University
  7. Missouri University of Science and Technology
  8. Northwestern State University
  9. Prefreshman Engineering Program, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  10. Purdue University
  11. Rowan University
  12. SeaPerch
  13. Society of Women Engineers, Tulsa Northeast Oklahoma Section
  14. Tulsa Public Schools
  15. University of Evansville
  16. University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  17. Weber State University

 

Still Time to Get Free Books for your STEM Program

Is There an Engineer Inside You?The books arrived yesterday! A big semi pulled up and two pallets of books were dropped off.

These are books that you can request for your STEM or engineering program.

There is no charge. It’s first-come first-serve. Even the shipping to you is covered.

It’s part of the 100,000 Book Give-Away. The seventeen colleges and organizations that chipped-in want all students to understand the potential of an engineering degree or career. They know that an engineering education is one of the best a person can get and they want to share their positive feelings, thoughts and attitudes. They want to see students get informed and succeed. One Dean of an engineering school told me, “It’s the right thing to do.”

I’m not alone – they are each giving away books and most also have the book on their website for students to freely download.

If you are a recipient of books for your students, please don’t forget to thank the partners!

The 2014 Book Give Away was Made Possible By the Colleges and Organizations Below

Christian Brothers University Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Missouri University of Science and Technology Tulsa Public Schools Boston Society of Civil Engineers University of Tennessee Knoxville Seaperch Northwestern State University Rowan University Louisiana Tech University University of Texas San Antonio Purdue University University of Evansville Auburn University Society of Women Engineers Indiana University Purdue University Idianapolis Weber State University

Famous Women Engineers

Every now and then, I like to take a step back and appreciate how far we’ve come in engineering and technology. Each time I do this I’m completely amazed that I can print things in plastic in my 3D printer, build robots that will follow my instructions and create my own rubber stamps in my laser cutter. I love the Maker and DIY cultures but also respect that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Without the discoveries of the past, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Below is a short list of famous women who have lead or are leading the way.

  • Heather Knight is a pioneer in the growing field of social robotics which investigates ways in which robots could have an impact on our everyday lives. With degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, she is known as a social roboticist and is constantly thinking about new ways to make robots charismatic, giving them the necessary personality and social skills to interact with humans in meaningful ways.
  • Dr. Catherine Mohr, a mechanical engineer, is developing the next generation of surgical robots and robotic procedures that allow patients to heal faster and better. She is pushing the boundaries of medicine with her research in robotic-assisted surgery.
  • Ada Byron Lovelace collaborated with Charles Babbage, the Englishman credited with inventing the forerunner of the modern computer. She wrote a scientific paper in 1843 that anticipated the development of computer software (including the term software), artificial intelligence, and computer music. The U.S. Department of Defense computer language Ada is named for her.
  • Amanda Theodosia Jones invented the vacuum method of food canning, completely changing the entire food processing industry.  Before the 1800’s, a woman could not get a patent in her own name. A patent was considered property and women could not own property in most states.  So, in a move typical of women inventors of the 19th century, Jones denied the idea came from her inventiveness, but rather from instructions received from her late brother from beyond the grave.
  • Dr. Angela Moran, a materials engineering scientist, conducts research to help assure that metals and other material that make up some the Navy’s most vital equipment (such as aircraft, sea vessels and weaponry) can withstand the stress and demands of their use.
  • Mary Engle Pennington revolutionized food delivery with her invention of an insulated train car cooled with ice beds, allowing the long-distance transportation of perishable food for the first time.
  • Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper in 1903. By 1916 they were standard equipment on all American cars.
  • Beulah Louise Henry was known as ‘the Lady Edison’ for the many inventions she patented in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Her inventions included a bobbinless lockstitch sewing machine, a doll with bendable arms, a vacuum ice cream freezer, a doll with a radio inside, and a typewriter that made multiple copies without carbon paper.  Henry founded manufacturing companies to produce her creations and made an enormous fortune in the process.
  • Hedy Lamarr, a 1940’s actress, invented a sophisticated and unique anti-jamming device for use against Nazi radar. While the U.S. War Department rejected her design, years after her patent had expired, Sylvania adapted the design for a device that today speeds satellite communications around the world. Lamarr received no money, recognition, or credit.
  • Grace Murray Hopper, a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, developed COBOL, one of the first high-level computer languages. Hopper is also the person who, upon discovering a moth that had jammed the works of an early computer, popularized the term “bug.” In 1991, Hopper became the first woman, as an individual, to receive the National Medal of Technology. One of the Navy’s destroyers, the U.S.S. Hopper, is named for her.
  • Stephanie Kwoleks discovered a polyamide solvent in 1966 that led to the production of “Kevlar,” the crucial component used in canoe hulls, auto bodies and, perhaps most importantly, bulletproof vests.
  • Ruth Handler was best known as the inventor of the Barbie doll, also created the first prosthesis for mastectomy patients.
  • Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar helped to develop the ceramic tiles that enable the space shuttle to survive re-entry. In 1985, she had an opportunity to test those tiles first hand as an astronaut aboard the shuttle.

Comments?

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.

 

100K Book Give-Away Round 2

ITAEIY4_300x450Last year, I joined forces with nine amazing Universities and organizations who wanted to promote engineering careers and motivate students to pursue engineering. Together, we gave away close to 8,000 copies of Is There an Engineer Inside You?, the leading book on engineering careers. 6,000 copies of the book were distributed across the nation and another 2000 were downloaded from partner websites. Student competitions and events that received books were BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology), Seaperch, Ability One and the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Books were also donated to teachers and distributed at professional development workshops and conferences. Partners donated books to teachers, schools, guidance counselors and students in their local communities.

As we enter year two of the give-away, I hope to reach even more students and teachers by expanding the program and improving the book. Here’s how:

  1. Encouraging Partner Success – This year partners will be able to choose events in their community for book distribution. This can be a student or educator event. Up to 300 books can be requested. In addition, these books can have their logo on the front and/or back cover(s)! See samples.
  2. Expanding the Program – Last year, we gave away books to students at national student competitions. This year we will expand the recipients to educators and mentors who promote STEM and can disseminate the information to reach an even larger audience.  In addition to the books distributed in partner communities, I will also distribute to several key competitions and conferences.
  3. Improving the Book – I have written three new sections. Instead of covering 38 types of engineering and engineering technology, it now covers 41 types. New additions include: Industrial Engineering Technology, Fire Protection Engineering, and Fire Protection Engineering Technology.
  4. Each partner’s logo and website will be included on the cover page and in the acknowledgements.

The 100K Book Give-Away is an amazing program designed to help you easily expand your outreach, save money, save time, and provide a proven reference to students, parents, educators, counselors and mentors in your community. Deadline to become a partner is August 8, 2014.

More Information

Apply to receive books for your STEM event.

 

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.

 

iPhone app for Engr and Engr Tech Careers

ITAEIYapplogoBrand new in iTunes is the app “Is There an Engineer Inside You?

This is a great resource for teachers, administrators, parents and students. It covers 40 different types of engineering and engineering technology degrees with videos, job descriptions, salary expectations, scholarships and a school locator.

It’ll help teachers, administrators and parents understand the differences between 40 types of engineering and the opportunities available.

It’ll help students figure out what kind of engineer they want to be.

So head over the the App Store and get your copy. It’ll be the best $2 you’ve spent in a while.

And, please Share far and wide!

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…

Passport to Engineering

Passport to EngineeringBig news today! At long last, Passport to Engineering is here!

Passport to Engineering will help students understand engineering and engineering technology in a whole new way.

In Passport to Engineering, students will watch a short video on a specific discipline, take a short test and when they pass the test, they’ll receive a stamp in their passport. Get all 33 stamps and they’ll receive a certificate of travel proving that they’ve been to all of the engineering and engineering technology destinations.

Passport to Engineering includes:

  • Flights to 27 engineering and 6 engineering technology destinations. Includes:
    • a 2-4 minute video
    • career handout with career description, salary information, job outlook, industries with the highest levels of employment, and the top paying industries
    • a list of ABET programs/schools for that discipline
    • a review quiz (4 questions)
    • Passport Stamp upon successful completion of review
    • discipline specific puzzles and games.
  • Flights based on what you like to do – this option offers career track suggestions.
  • A personality test to gauge if engineering is a good fit.
  • An academic challenge to gauge your academic readiness.
  • Engineering career books for further investigation.
  • Engineering videos (Engineers Can Do Anything, Women in Engineering and The Road Ahead).

 

Online Access – This option allows you to get going right away. Purchase courses individually or as a package. Covers 33 different types of engineering and engineering technology. Two free courses can get you started quickly.

Try it out and let me know how you like it!

 

Outreach Communication

For us engineering education advocates, when we want to inspire students, the problem isn’t about finding information on engineering careers, locating hands-on activities, or helping students decide which college to attend. It’s more about figuring out:

  1. What is appealing to students (what drives this generation);
  2. How to present the information;
  3. Getting that tailored information to them (books, DVDs, hands-on projects, posters, websites, etc.);
  4. Answering their questions (Will I like engineering? How hard will I have to work?, Is it worth the hard work?, etc.).

To refresh your memory, The National Academy of Engineering conducted a major study a few years ago to address the messages we portray to pre-college students about engineering. Changing the Conversation, the result of the study, states that young people want jobs that make a difference.  Additional recommendations from the research study are as follows:

  • Stop reinforcing the images of “nerdy and boring”
  • Stop focusing on math and science as the needed inputs and instead focus on the outputs, career opportunities, and making a difference in the world
  • Use the word “create” not “build”
  • Use images of people, not things: especially avoid using gears and mechanical looking things
  • Use the following five words in describing engineering: discovery, design, imagination, innovation, contribution
  • Describe engineer as creative problem solvers, essential to health, happiness and safety
  • Emphasize that engineers shape the future

Have you been using the recommendations? With Engineers Week on the horizon, right now is the perfect time to figure out when and how to jump on the bandwagon.

 

Get ready for 2014!

With 2014 right around the corner, it’s time for all of of us to reflect on our 2013 accomplishments and areas that we’d like to improve.

My professional New Year’s resolutions always looks something like this:

  1. Find new ways to communicate the cool factor of an engineering education.
  2. Conspire with other engineering evangelists to find new ways to communicate the cool factor.
  3. Communicate the cool factor to teachers, counselors and parents.
  4. Spread the joy.
  5. Repeat often.

Although my list defies resolution etiquette by not being very specific, it works for me. Sometimes I also add in the margin my definition of “cool factor” just in case I learn new things about engineering and somehow overlay the old information instead of adding to it.

Margin notes: Cool Factor = An engineering education teaches you how to think. You learn analytical, logical and problem-solving skills that help in everything that you do. Consider engineering education as a launching pad to become anything that you want to be. Spatial visualization, problem solving, teamwork, communication, and creativity can be transferred and applied to any field and are excellent tools for the future – whatever your future may be. Once you finish an engineering degree, you really feel like you can do anything.

This is how I do my part in making a better world. If people can spend 8-10 hours a day doing something they enjoy, the world will be a better place.

Happy Holidays!

Interactive Keynote Presentations

kcweb

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).