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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 20, 2012 | Innovations

Structural engineers at the University of California, San Diego conducted a grand-scale experiment to find out how the inside of a structure is impacted when an earthquake strikes. The engineers constructed an 80-foot-high model hospital complete with an elevator, stairs, wiring, heating and air conditioning, electrical, computers, and medical equipment on a massive shake table. The building was equipped with hundreds of cameras and sensors to record what happened inside during a simulated earthquake. In the first tests simulating a 6.7 and 8.8 magnitude quake, the building was placed atop base isolators which can absorb shock and minimize damage. In both tests the building swayed but remained intact, and experienced very little internal damage. In coming days the simulation will be repeated without the isolators, which is anticipated to cause significant damage. The engineers will also start a fire in the building to see how flames and smoke impact a building damaged by an earthquake. This experiment illustrates how technologies such as base isolators can minimize the impact of earthquakes on structures such as hospitals and schools.

April 12, 2012 | Announcements

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The IEEE Educational Activities Board, in conjunction with the IEEE Saudi Arabia Section East, announces the launch of the TryEngineering.org site in Arabic. This new language brings TryEngineering resources to the Arabian Peninsula and the Arabic speaking world.†The Arabic translation of TryEngineering.org was made possible by the generous support of Saudi Aramco as part of its Youth Development Program. http://www.tryengineering.org/lang/arabic/

 

April 4, 2012 | Student Resources

The April edition of IEEE Spark entitled Engineering Inside…Green Technology is now April_IEEESpark_homeavailable.†Going green is a way of approaching life and business where you consider how your actions will impact the environment. Every choice you make matters! This issue of IEEE Spark will look at all the ways technology can be used to support green initiatives. There are articles, interviews, and a fun paper recycling activity for you to try at home!
Read this issue!

March 29, 2012 | Reports

design_tinkeringOn Citizen IBM, Dr. Margaret Honey, President and CEO of the New York†Hall of Science,†discusses how design-based learning can be used to engage students†with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. When participating in design-based learning activities students have opportunities to use higher-order thinking-skills to plan, model, and test solutions to problems†in interdisciplinary ways.†Design-based learning encourages students use a†variety of tools to solve real-world†problems that are relevant to their lives, generating both motivation and excitement.†For a variety of design-based lessons and teacher resources†check out the new partner-developed resource Teachers TryScience and†the Lesson Plans section of TryEngineering.org.

March 23, 2012 | Innovations

stop_signComputer scientists at the University of Texas are developing a traffic system that may someday eliminate the need for stop signs and traffic lights at intersections. The system is intended to work with the driverless vehicles that some believe will be on the roads in the not too distant future. Traditional traffic signals would be replaced by software that can communicate with individual vehicles wirelessly using dedicated short range communication (DSRC) technology. The signals would maintain safe distance between cars while keeping them in motion to avoid collisions and preserve the flow of traffic. The system would also have a “green effect” by reducing vehicles’ need to constantly stop and go, thus requiring them to use much less energy.

March 16, 2012 | Innovations

textured_plasticA team of engineers at Duke University have developed a process that enables them to change the texture of plastics, for example from rough to slippery, on demand. The typical process used for texturizing plastics known as “electrostatic lithography” employs an electrode to etch permanent patterns onto polymers. The new process developed by the Duke engineers uses specific voltages to change the texture of plastics from dots, to circles, to lines in mere milliseconds. Possible applications of this process include developing climbing gloves that change texture to adapt to varying terrain, or self-cleaning surfaces that can repel water.

March 5, 2012 | Innovations

Biomedical engineering students from Tulane University are workingwoman_in_wheelchair on several projects to develop assistive devices for disabled individuals within the local community. In one such project, the students developed a device for an 8-year-old child with a neurological condition known as ataxia. Compelled to rock back and forth while holding onto the back of a kitchen chair, the child often suffered falls and injuries as a result of the condition, necessitating him to wear a helmet. The engineering students developed a rocking device to enable the child to rock in a safer, more stable manner.  Other students in the department are also in the process of applying for a patent on a one-handed wheelchair lock developed for a stroke victim who lost the use of her left arm.

February 24, 2012 | Student Opportunities

students_drawing_on_boardHoneywell announces the annual UniSim

February 17, 2012 | Innovations

eyeglasses_with_newspaperVergence Labs, founded by a Stanford Engineer and a UCLA and NUS MBA, has developed a smart eyeglasses prototype that can display data from the Web in a person’s field of view. Not great with names? The glasses are equipped with a computer and a camera capable of performing facial recognition. When interacting with someone in the wearer’s social network, the glasses can display that person’s Facebook profile information, relationship status, and even allow them to Google the person’s name! The glasses can also display computer graphics for an augmented view of reality and potentially enable wearers to play social games in a 3D environment. Still in the early stages of development, this technology has the potential to radically impact the way people interact and communicate.

February 8, 2012 | Careers

woman_holding_model_airplaneWant to learn about the amazing places a career in engineering, computing,†or technology can take you? Check out the Dream Jobs†2012 Special Report in this month’s edition of IEEE Spectrum, which profiles 10†engineers†with incredible careers. From exploring the depths of the ocean, to thrilling audiences with feats of acrobatics, to making the Web accessible to the blind; these†professionals are†living their dreams, making a difference,†and pushing the boundaries of†our imagination through engineering.

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