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

 

NGSS and Teaching Engineering Made Easy

Teaching Engineering Made Easy; A Friendly Introduction to Engineering Activities for Middle School Teachers (Volumes 1 and 2) are books of 20 engineering activities designed to introduce both teachers and students to the world of technology and engineering. Developed to help middle school teachers with no engineering background teach engineering, these easy and exciting, time and work saving books can be used in the classroom, an informal science environment, to enhance an event or competition, at an engineering camp or any other educational setting. They offer a ready collection of projects, lessons and activities to help teachers stimulate student’s thought processes and get them thinking like an engineer. By using these teaching guides, students can see that engineering is not something to be afraid of but a realistic way to solve the problems of everyday life.

The activities do not require a formal science lab and can be done with materials that are inexpensive and easy to find. Activities range from 20-minute problem solving exercises to several class period design or “challenge” activities. The challenge activities integrate perfectly with the Disciplinary Core Ideas of the NGSS. Engineering challenges are design problems that require students to identify needs, define problems (ETS1.A), identify design criteria and constraints, develop solutions (ETS1.B), and evaluate their solutions (ETS1.C).

In these activities, there are more than one “right” answer. In a class of 10 student teams, you will often see 10 different designs that all meet the design criteria. The right design is usually one that meets the engineering criteria and is built within the materials budget. Students will design, construct, and test their engineering design solution and collect relevant data (if applicable). They will then evaluate the solution in terms of design and performance criteria, constraints, priorities, and trade-offs while also identifying possible design improvements.

In Search of an Icon

If we want engineering to be more broadly accepted by mainstream society and the media, we need to define what an engineer looks like. The field of engineering has become larger and more encompassing over time.

Engineers come in all forms.  There are currently 2.3 million engineers, engaged in everything from design to sales to testing, manufacturing, training, and marketing. You can find engineers working in the field, behind a desk, in a production plant, at a customer site, or even on an airplane. Engineers design, manufacture, build, research, write, investigate and present their findings. It’s easy to think of engineers designing rides at Disney or crawling around inside of a bridge to check for stress cracks – we know what that looks like but what about the engineers who don’t design our modern conveniences and structures? How do we show an appealing image of an engineer who is checking air quality or researching new and safer ways to dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs?  How do we show students the image of an engineer who is trying to find ways to save animals on the brink of extinction? How do we show an engineer who is working on developing safer foods, less hazardous farming techniques or ways to cut down on crime? That’s a lot of job descriptions and categories to narrow into one icon that defines an engineer.

If Hollywood can make CSI shows look good to students (forensic scientists often study dead people for clues), we can definitely find a way to make engineering look more appealing too. And it starts with an icon or symbol that we can associate with an engineer.

All ideas are welcome!

2011 Statistics

The numbers for last year’s enrollment are out. For all of us involved in outreach – it’s working! Enrollment is up! Give yourself a pat on the back – your blood, sweat and tears are making a difference.

According to the American Society for Engineering Education’s, “Engineering by the Numbers” by Brian Yoder, “Engineering bachelor’s degrees grew by 5.6 percent during 2011, reaching 83,001. Almost all fields grew in the number of graduates produced with the notable exceptions of engineering management, engineering science, and engineering physics, which each saw decreases of around 6 percent. Overall degree totals should increase further in the coming years, since enrollment continued its upward trend in the fall of 2011, posting a 4.8 percent yearly gain to 471,730.”

“Growth in bachelor enrollment was sustained in many fields, with increases of around 10 percent posted this year in biological and agricultural engineering, biomedical engineering, computer science (inside engineering), petroleum engineering, and, interestingly, engineering management. The only field to show a decrease in bachelor enrollment was architectural engineering, in which enrollment decreased 9 percent from last year.”

Yoder goes on to say, “The percentage of women receiving engineering degrees remained about the same as in the previous few years. Females accounted for 18.4 percent of bachelor’s degrees, up slightly from 18.1 percent in 2010.”

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!

————————————————————————

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/

The Engineering Design Process as a Tool

I’m happy to announce that a few weeks ago, I won the contract to write and develop tutorials, reference and training materials for grade 1 through 12 Oregon teachers to use the Engineering Design Process to be more effective and successful teaching science.

Since 2009, the Oregon state standards have included “Engineering Design” as a core “Science Process Skill” in the curriculum. The term Engineering Design describes the concept of using the practical application of scientific principles to everyday problems as a method for teaching students about science. The documents that I am composing are intended to help teachers understand, and answer the following questions:

  • What characterizes Engineering Design processes and how are they used?
  • What are some good ways to teach students about the Engineering Design process?
  • How can the Engineering Design process be used to:
    • motivate students to learn science,
    • increase the depth of their understanding, and
    • build skills that allow them to use science to solve practical problems?
  • What exercises might be used to familiarize students with the Engineering Design process at the same time they learn science content knowledge?

It’s very exciting to think that I will have a hand in helping all students in Oregon gain a foothold in STEM education. Although the term “busy” is an understatement about my life right now, opportunities like this don’t come around everyday. When the train pulled out of the station, I made sure I was on-board.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress….

 

My Co-author and Mentor, Cathi Cox

cathi-and-celeste-coast

Celeste and Cathi on the Oregon coast after a workshop at Oregon State University

Back when I just finished my biomedical engineering degree at Louisiana Tech University, I began an MBA in entrepreneurship and needed something to pay the bills. Fortunately for me, I got a job at a Science Teacher Training Center on campus called Project LIFE (Project LIFE is a multi-year professional development program for middle grades and high school teachers of life science and biology. The project focuses on ecology, environmental science, and organismal biology.)  I came on as the Director of Integrated Technology of the NSF program and tried to find ways to help science teachers infuse more technology into the classroom. I maintained their website, helped with workshops, produced training CDs, and edited manuals.

In this center, I shared an office with Cathi Cox (now Cathi Cox-Boniol). Cathi had been a science teacher for the last seventeen years and was ready for a change. Sharing an office with her was an eye-opening experience. She was a powerhouse of a woman – always juggling several balls with one hand, the biggest Elvis fan I had ever met, and an amazing advocate for science education. I knew when we met that I had a lot to learn from her but I never expected she would change my life the way she did.

When I left Louisiana Tech to start the Engineering Education Service Center, Cathi and I were already plotting and planning to produce Teaching Engineering Made Easy. There were very few models to follow and we wanted to offer a fun and inexpensive introduction to engineering activities that would not only engage students but also enhance their learning experience. After nearly ten years of writing, refining, testing and evaluating, we are happy to be releasing this new and improved second edition.

Whether the activities are designed to teach engineering or enhance science education by using the engineering design process, each time we collaborate on a project, I’m amazed at how our individual strengths complement each other. Collaboration and teamwork is a key component to engineering success and in this case, a great example of how we are stronger because of it.