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TryEngineering Today!

TryEngineering Today! is dedicated to providing the latest news and information for students, parents, teachers, and counselors interested in engineering, computing technology and related topics.

October 2, 2015 | Announcements

Are you an IEEE member, IEEE student member, IEEE graduate student member or IEEE young professional member who wants to spark pre-university students' interest in technology? Mentor a student in the 2015 IEEE Spark Innovation through Animation Competition! The 2015 IEEE Spark Animation Competition is your chance to inspire pre-university students in engineering, computing or technology through the art of animation. This year's theme is “Smart!” such as “Smart Homes,” “Smart Cars,” or other Smart technologies. The submission deadline has now been extended to 1 November 2015. Learn more at

September 28, 2015 | Student Opportunities

The SMART Competition engages students in a real-world technology education challenge designed to combine academic relevance, education achievement and applications of technology. The Competition facilitates the development of workforce and life skills including computer analysis and software design, verbal and written communication, research, teamwork and problem solving. Students will achieve an increased awareness of the smart grid, green building design, the environment, community, livability and sustainability related issues.

As a STEM program, the competition provides educational opportunities that will engage students and encourage higher goals in STEM education and future career opportunities.

Registration is open now. The registration fee is $100.00 per team. The Competition is designed to attract all students without regard or bias of gender, race, socio-economic or academic performance level.

For additional information visit:

September 18, 2015 | Announcements

Are you an IEEE member, IEEE student member, IEEE graduate student member or IEEE young professional member who wants to spark pre-university students' interest in technology? There's still time to mentor a student in the 2015 IEEE Spark Innovation through Animation Competition!

The 2015 IEEE Spark Animation Competition is unique opportunity to inspire pre-university students in engineering, computing or technology through the art of animation. This year's theme is “Smart!” such as “Smart Homes,” “Smart Cars,” or other Smart technologies.

Learn more at

September 11, 2015 | Announcements

Since 1990, IEEE 802.11 working group participants have developed standards that help enable applications that allow us to communicate with one another in real time from anywhere in the world.

IEEE 802.11 standards underpin wireless networking applications, such as wireless access to the Internet from offices, homes, airports, hotels, restaurants, trains and aircraft.

Today’s computers, smart phones, and tablets are often equipped with an IEEE 802.11 radio, more commonly known as “Wi-Fi®.”

25 years later, IEEE 802.11 working group participants continue to push the limits of technology enabling new devices and applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart grid.

What would happen in a world without wireless connectivity? Check out the video below to find out!

August 24, 2015 | Student Opportunities

The App Challenge is a nationwide contest for middle- and high-school-aged students that challenges them to develop concepts for mobile apps that solve a problem in their community. It’s a unique, hands-on learning program that teaches collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and entrepreneurship, as well as STEM skills and coding. Its aim is to equip students with skills needed to succeed in the jobs of the future, delivering to students the promise of a brighter future.

Youth in the U.S. in grades 6 through 12, in teams of 5 to 7 members plus an adult advisor can enter. Teams do not have to build an app to enter the Challenge. The Challenge is about the concept only. The concept submission will be evaluated on how well it is researched and presented to the panel of judges. Teams that win at the national level will learn coding from MIT experts who will travel to your location to give in-person training, as well as additional virtual training to get your app ready to launch in the Play store.

Best in State winning teams will receive a $5,000 grant for their school or non-profit sponsored program and mobile tablets for every team member, and the opportunity to compete for the title of Best in Region and Best in Nation. In addition, all Best in State winners will be eligible to be named the People’s Choice winner.  The team that receives the most votes via a crowd voting mechanism on the App Challenge website (or other social media platform TBD) will be selected as the People's Choice Award Winner and will receive all the benefits of the Best in Nation winners.

Best in Nation teams will receive an additional $15,000 grant for their school or out-of-school program, and in-person coding training from MIT experts, plus an all-expenses-paid trip for each team member and a parent/guardian next summer.

The submission deadline is November 24, 2015

Learn more here: 

August 14, 2015 | Announcements

Jump on board the latest issue of IEEE Spark to explore the exciting world of smart vehicles. Learn how smart vehicles are revolutionizing transportation, meet a professional who is driving the future of smart cars, design an efficient vehicle, and learn how you can enter competitions to design the smart vehicles of tomorrow.

Read this issue!

August 14, 2015 | Innovations

Researchers at the University of Southern California's USC Institute for Creative Technologies and Imperial College London have created a new method for rendering CGI skin that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Current high resolution scanning technologies allow the details of skin such as pores and creases to be captured only at the mesoscale. This new technique captured images of both the appearance and behavior of skin at the microscale, or below one tenth of a millimeter. Using this method, the team observed that skin becomes shinier when stretched and rougher when compressed. This data was used to create displacement maps of the skin at different levels of deformation. The maps were then blurred when stretched and sharpened when compressed to better replicate how skin appears in different states. The team then applied the technique to simulations of different facial expressions, with uncanny results.


August 7, 2015 | Innovations

Researchers at the University of Exeter have developed new photography software that converts digital photos into animal vision. The software can be used to analyze colors and patterns, which is useful in the study of plant and animal signaling, camouflage, and predation. The user-friendly software program enables users to calibrate images, incorporate multiple layers (including visible and UV channels), convert to animals' visual color palettes, and easily measure images. Humans see the world in three colors - red, green and blue. Since animals often see differently than humans, the software can be used to adjust an image to reflect how various species might see it. For example, some animals see in only two colors, others can see in up to as many as four colors, and others still can see into the UV range which is invisible to the unaided human eye. The software mimics animal vision by combining images taken with different filters using a camera converted to full spectrum sensitivity, and creating functions to adjust the images. The researchers have already used the software to track color changes in green shore crabs and analyze the protective camouflage attributes of nightjar clutches. The software can be downloaded for free from the University's Web site: 



July 30, 2015 | Innovations

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have demonstrated that blood can be transported successfully by small drone. The researchers collected and then drove over 300 healthy blood samples to a flight site one hour away from the hospital  Half of the samples were packaged for flight and loaded onto a  hand-launched fixed-wing drone. These samples were flown in an unpopulated area for lengths of time ranging from 6 to 38 minutes. The other samples were driven back to the hospital laboratory where they underwent the 33 most common laboratory tests such as glucose, sodium, and red blood count. When the flown vs. non-flown sample results were compared, there was essentially no difference between them. Only one test for carbon dioxide differed, which the researchers are currently investigating. None of the flown samples appear to have been damaged by the acceleration during launch or the impact of the landing, which were initial concerns for the researchers. This study shows great promise for treating patients in rural areas that lack good infrastructure such as passable roads. The researchers next plan to replicate the study in Africa where labs can be as far as 60 miles away from health care clinics. 

July 24, 2015 | Innovations

Stanford University researchers are partnering with LumosTech to develop a sleep mask that could help alleviate jet lag. The mask is outfitted with an Arduino that controls two bright LEDs. The LEDs emit brief flashes of light, about two milliseconds long, at the wearer's eyes. These flashes are capable of shifting the sleep phase of the wearer's circadian rhythm without disturbing sleep. When going on a trip, the mask can help a person prepare for time zone changes before they leave and even on the plane. A smartphone app is simultaneously being developed to customize the wearer's sleep cycle to the destination time zone. This technology can also be used to help shift workers and even teenagers with clinical sleep problems. The researchers are currently working on shrinking the device and experimenting with the intervals between flashes and the colors of the flashes. The team would eventually like to offer the product for purchase within the commercial market. 


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