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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.

June 24, 2015 | Innovations

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a device that can steal laptops' data wirelessly using a radio receiver and a piece of pita bread. The device sends encoded information to a nearby laptop, which is then decoded by that laptop. Changes in the electromagnetic field around the laptop during this process are then monitored and recorded. These changes can then be analyzed to derive the laptop's secret decryption keys, enabling encrypted communications to be read. Known as the Portable Instrument for Trace Acquisition, or PITA, the device can crack passwords in mere seconds without the user even knowing it, and is small enough to be concealed in everyday items such as a pita sandwich.

Photo credit: The Laboratory for Experimental Information Security at Tel Aviv University

June 10, 2015 | Announcements

Although you may not realize it, technical standards have a big impact on our everyday lives. Standards influence virtually everything, including computers, phones, communication systems, power and energy, tools, transportation, medical devices, safety, and even toys. A technical standard is a norm or requirement that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, process and practices. A standard is usually a formal document that spells out a specific set of requirements for an item, material, component or system.

What would happen in a world without technical standards? This short animation video developed by the IEEE Standards Association demonstrates how IEEE 1264-2015, IEEE Guide for Animal Deterrents for Electric Power Supply Substations, helps to keep the lights on.


June 8, 2015 | Innovations

An international group of researchers based at Trinity College Dublin have developed a new highly sensitive graphene biosensor for the detection of diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, and even cancer. The Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) sensor is an already established optical technique for medical diagnosis. The researchers discovered that adding graphene to the SPR sensor greatly improved its effectiveness by amplifying the sensor signal. This SPR sensor can detect diseases in mere minutes, as opposed to traditional methods, which can often take days. The sensitive nature of the SPR sensor also necessitates a smaller sample from patients, a pinprick instead of a vial of blood. The research team hopes to use this new technique to help detect diseases earlier, which could lead to better prognoses for patients.

May 19, 2015 | Announcements

Discover the possibilities of 3D printing in the latest issue of IEEE Spark! Learn how 3D printing is changing healthcare, meet a doctor who is using 3D printing to save lives, 3D-print a map, and see how libraries are connecting students to 3D printing technology.

Read this issue!

May 15, 2015 | Student Opportunities

Interested in cyber security? Check out one of these competitions now open for registration in the UK and the US.

CyberCenturion (UK)

CyberCenturion sits between the existing Cyber Security Challenge schools program for secondary schools and the main Challenge competition program and has been designed to inspire future professionals towards careers in cyber security. It is a chance for anyone interested in the world of cyber security to get their first real experience of the scenarios and challenges existing professionals have to undertake on a daily basis.   CyberCenturion is modeled after the U.S. CyberPatriot program. A video describing the online and in-person rounds of the CyberPatriot competition can be found here: CyberPatriot Video. The competition is played in teams.

Learn more at: http://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/competitors/cybercenturion/

​​CyberPatriot (US)

​​CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program.  There are three main programs within CyberPatriot: the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, AFA CyberCamps and the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative. CyberPatriot was conceived by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire high school students toward careers in c​ybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future.

Learn more at: http://www.uscyberpatriot.org/home



May 8, 2015 | Student Opportunities

Together with LEGO Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic, Google is calling on all young researchers, explorers, builders, technologists and inventors to try something ambitious. Something imaginative, or maybe even unimaginable. Something that might just change the world around us.

Students around the world ages 13-18 can submit projects online across all scientific fields, from biology to computer science to anthropology and everything in between. Prizes include $100,000 in scholarships and classroom grants from Scientific American and Google, a National Geographic Expedition to the Galapagos, an opportunity to visit LEGO designers at their Denmark headquarters, and the chance to tour Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship at their Mojave Air and Spaceport. This year we’re also introducing an award to recognize an Inspiring Educator, as well as a Community Impact Award honoring a project that addresses an environmental or health challenge. 
The deadline to apply is 19 May 2015. 

To learn more visit: https://www.googlesciencefair.com

May 1, 2015 | Innovations

IBM researchers have developed a new semiconductor chip that brings us one step closer to the development of a practical quantum computer. The chip integrates four qubits, the basis of quantum computing, in a two by two, 2-D grid. Qubits are bits that can exist as a 1 and a 0 simultaneously (known as a superposition state), offering quantum computers the possibility of making simultaneous calculations. Quantum computers would likely involve grids of hundreds or thousands of qubits working together to perform calculations. IBM's chip is unique in that it allows for the recognition of both kinds of quantum errors known as: bit flips (when a qubit representing 0 changes to a 1, or vice versa) and phase flips (the distortion of the superposition state of a qubit). The square arrangement of IBM's chip is also noteworthy, in that it has the potential to be scaled up. The chip's circuits were created from a metal that displays superconducting properties when cooled to temperatures slightly above absolute zero. The researchers have already begun experimenting with a scaled-up version of the chip containing eight qubits in a two by four grid. 

April 24, 2015 |

Scholarship Mission: To encourage and promote undergraduate college students interested in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) field by providing a one-time monetary scholarship to the scholarship applicant who appropriately meets the criteria below and as selected by the designated oxyGEN scholarship committee. All applicants who meet the criteria and deadline will be considered, regardless of major or area of study. The number and value of scholarships awarded each year will vary based on the number of quality applicants received and the funds available. NOTE: At least one (1) recipient will receive a one-time scholarship in the amount of no less than $1,000. 

1. DEADLINE for scholarship applications is Sunday, May 31, 2015 5:00 pm CST. (no exceptions) 
2. Refer to application criteria and process below for a list of the supporting documents required. 
3. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 
4. The final selections will be announced on July 1, 2015. The recipients will be notified prior. 

Note: Scholarship funds will be awarded to the student's institution, upon evidence of registration in classes. This includes student identification number and correct address of school's Bursar's Office. 

2015 Scholarship Criteria: 
A. Applicant must be a graduating High School Senior for the 2014-2015 Academic Year or a current undergraduate college student 
B. Applicant must plan to attend an accredited college (2-year or 4-year) for the 2015-2016 academic year 
C. GPA Requirement: 2.5 
D. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident 

Application Must Include:

  • Fully completed application
  • One letter of recommendation from a teacher, coach, or current oxyGEN member with no relation to the applicant
  • A copy of your most recent transcript to verify GPA and education status
  • Personal Essay or Personal Video
  • Please email copies of your most recent transcript as well as letter of recommendation to oxygenscholarship@gmail.com after you submit the online application. Please make sure to include your confirmation number (which you will get after you submit this application) on all your documents.

April 24, 2015 | Innovations

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, have used a 3D printing technique, know as direct ink writing, to create a new kind of graphene aerogel that has applications ranging from energy storage to electronics. Aerogels, also known as "frozen smoke", are esssentially gels where the liquid has been replaced by a gas. The resulting material is ultra lightweight, compressible, highly conductive, mechanically stiff, and has a high surface area. Previous attempts at creating graphene aerogels resulted in random structures which could not be tailored for specific applications. The graphene aerogel shows much promise for developing  better batteries, sensors, and nanoelectronics. 


April 16, 2015 |

NYC's DOE is seeking companies / organizations in New York City to host high school students students studying software engineering for a six-week job shadow / internship program June 29th – August 7th. The program, "Pathfinders," is an integral part of DOE’s efforts to prepare students for the 21st Century workforce, providing students with valuable exposure to potential career paths and context for their schoolwork. The students are paid thanks to a generous donation from the AT&T Foundation so there’s no cost to host organizations. To apply to be a host organization, please visit http://bit.ly/ApplyPathfinders or contact Richard Robbins at rich@upperweststrategies.com.

NYC DOE needs you!! Sign up to host software engineering HS students for summer internship program. Info at http://bit.ly/ApplyPathfinders


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