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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.

April 13, 2011 | Innovations

A group of Rice University engineering undergraduates have teamed up with engineers at the Shriners Hospital for Children-Houston to develop a video game to improve balance in children with physical disabilities. Consisting of a PC, Balance Boards from the Nintendo Wii video game system and a set of handrails, children can shoot approaching monsters on the screen by using their feet to step on specific places on the Wii array. The undergraduates are currently working to program feedback into the system’s handrails to further encourage children’s progress.

April 4, 2011 | Student Opportunities

Entries are now being accepted for the†Microsoft Kodu Cup Contest.† US students ages nine to seventeen†can enter the contest by†developing a video game using Microsoft’s free Kodu†Game Lab.†Prizes include $5,000 US, a trip to NYC, laptops, game consoles and more.† Entries must be submitted by 10 May, 2011.† Learn more…

April 4, 2011 | Student Opportunities

The IEEE Educational Activities Board and IEEE Computer Society will launch a new†online resource in 2012 called TryComputing.org to offer global computing education resources for the pre-university audience.††Entries are currently being accepted for the 2011 IEEE TryComputing.org Lesson Plan Competition†which will establish engaging computing classroom†activities for pre-university students. Open to IEEE Student Members and IEEE Graduates of the Last Decade,†winners will receive an award of $1000 US, a congratulatory letter and their plan included on TryComputing.org.†View details and official rules…


March 29, 2011 | Innovations

Rolling walkers — which help senior citizens maintain mobility and an active lifestyle — have just become safer and easier to use. Cornell biomedical engineering students have designed an electronic braking system for walkers, with buttons replacing bicycle-style squeeze brakes. Their walkers also have automatic braking that can prevent slips, slides and falls when a user grabs the handgrips.† Learn more and try out TryEngineering.org’s lesson on Adaptive Devices.

March 25, 2011 | Innovations

ankleMIT biomechatronics professor Hugh Herr has developed the very first bionic lower leg system. Herr lost is own legs in a mountain climbing accident in 1982. Known as BiOM, these “robotic ankles” improve over traditional prostheses by using a battery operated system of hydraulics and pulleys that mimics the movement of the calf muscle and Achilles tendon. Still in the early stages of market release, BiOM has the potential to change the lives of countless amputees.

March 18, 2011 | Events

TryEngineering.org will be an exhibitor at the†2011 Celebration of Teaching & Learning, hosted by WNET – parent company of New York’s flagship public television stations, THIRTEEN & WLIW21 – on March 18-19, 2011, in New York City!† The sixth annual Celebration will once again bring together global experts, advocates, practitioners, and academics with PreK-12 educators to create a unique professional development experience where knowledge meets inspiration.†To learn more and to register visit: http://thirteencelebration.org/

March 14, 2011 | Innovations

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed new software that can match forensic sketches to police mug shots.  The software improves on currently available facial recognition software which typically compares images pixel by pixel. Instead, this new software compares the shape and distribution of facial features, improving the accuracy of the matches.  Learn more…

March 9, 2011 | Student Opportunities

Applications are being accepted for NASA’s Interdisciplinary National Science Program Incorporating Research Experience (INSPIRE) designed to encourage†9th – 12th graders†to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Selected students will have the opportunity to participate in an online learning community as well as the chance to compete for summer activities at NASA facilities in 2012.  The deadline to apply is 30 June 2011.  Learn more…

March 7, 2011 | Innovations

By mimicking the structure of the silk moth’s antenna, University of Michigan researchers led the development of a better nanopore –a tiny tunnel-shaped tool that could advance understanding of a class of neurodegenerative diseases that includes Alzheimer’s. Nanopores — essentially holes drilled in a silicon chip — are miniscule measurement devices that enable the study of single molecules or proteins. A special coating on the nanotunnels of a silk moth’s antenna is the inspiration for a similar oily layer on synthetic nanopores, tiny measurement devices.† Learn more…

February 28, 2011 | Innovations

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have developed a Micro Nuclear Resonance Imaging Scanner or micro-NMR that detects cancer with an accuracy rate of over 96 percent.  Biopsy samples are injected into the scanner, which are labeled using nanoparticles.  The device then analyzes the samples by detecting nine protein markers for cancer cells.  Physicians can then read the results on a smartphone with accompanying app to produce a rapid diagnosis.  Costing a mere 200 dollars to produce, the micro-NMR is anticipated to have particular impact in areas of the world without access to expensive technologies.


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