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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.

January 19, 2012 | Innovations

water_dropResearchers from the University of Strathclyde’s Faculty of Engineering have discovered that an invasive hardwood shrub found in Cuba known as Marab?, can be used to produce activated carbon. Activated carbon is an excellent filter which can be used in the water purification process. It can also be pulvarized, combined with a polymer, and painted onto aluminum to create lightweight electrodes. The researchers are using the electrodes to create thinner, lighter, rechargable, non-toxic lithium-oxygen batteries and in the future super capacitators. Applications of this discovery range from bringing clean water to the developing world, to creating more efficient batteries for electric vehicles.

January 9, 2012 | Innovations

In searching for ways to improve the stability of

December 29, 2011 | Projects

Mechanical engineering students from Penn State University developed several museumteacher_and_student_outside_science_museum exhibits for Discovery Space, a local museum for children. The exhibits were intended to introduce young children to engineering in engaging hands-on ways. The exhibits included an earthquake table, a ball shooter, a telegraph for sending messages using Morse code, and a sailboat race to teach children how air flow can be used to power objects. The exhibits project provided the engineering students with the unique opportunity to apply the principles learned in the classroom in a real-world setting for the benefit of the local community.

December 29, 2011 | Projects

math_magnetsAs part of an Educational Games Development course, computer science students at the University of Delaware have developed a math game to teach fractions to local primary school students. Known as Shape Shifters, the game encourages students to answer multiple choice questions to move their virtual game piece to the finish line. Shape Shifters was created to run on XO laptops; inexpensive computers designed for children in developing countries as part of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. The Educational Games Development course, which is supported through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, enables the university students to build valuable technical and communication skills while benefiting the local community. Shape Shifters will soon be available on the XO website for use by children in Australia where the OLPC program is extensively utilized.

December 13, 2011 | Innovations

inkjet_printerChemical engineers led by Dr. Woo Lee at Stevens Institute of Technology have made strides in the advancement of printed electronics. The researchers have developed an innovative method of applying graphene to inkjet printing technology. The process involves the development of graphene “ink,” which is conductive, strong, transparent, and can store energy, to create graphene electrodes for use in printed electronics. This technology may someday make the manufacture of paper-thin personal electronics such as mp3 players and smart phones possible. Graphene-based inkjet printing can also be applied in the medical field to “print” agents that combat infections onto orthopedic implants to improve surgical success rates.

December 2, 2011 | Innovations

Biomedical engineers at Case Western Reserve University have developed a method to engineer cartilage which could be used to replace that which is found in parts of the body such as the knee, ear, and nose. The process, which uses a patient’s own stem cells to drive cartilage formation, resulted in tougher cartilage than in previous attempts. The engineered cartilage shared many similarities to articulate cartilage (the type of cartilage found in the knee), but it did not quite measure up to the real thing. The researchers are working on optimizing their process to create cartilage tough enough to stand up to the rigors of everyday life.

November 16, 2011 | Innovations

An anti-icing system for airport runways is being developed by engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas. The design employs an overlay of conductive concrete panels atop the runway. A photovoltaic system supplies energy to embedded electrodes within the panels to maintain temperatures above freezing and prevent the accumulation of snow and ice. The system, which is currently in the testing phase, will have the potential to make runways safer and less costly to maintain during the winter months.

November 7, 2011 | Innovations

German researchers have developed a robotic rescue spider which could be used to explore dangerous areas after a disaster such as an earthquake. The robotic spider was produced so inexpensively using a 3D printer that it is literally disposable. The robot is programmed to move just like a real spider and some models can even jump. In the event of a disaster, the spider could provide responders with valuable information such as photos or air quality data from the disaster zone.

October 27, 2011 | Innovations

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) in London†is developing geo-engineering technology that can absorb detrimental carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere. Resembling fields of giant fly-swatters, the air capture devices are a thousand times more effective at absorbing CO2 than similarly-sized trees, which could help counter global warming. After being captured, the CO2 can then be used in industry or stored safely underground. It is anticipated that the technology will be ready to be rolled out in the UK by 2018. Learn more…

October 20, 2011 | Teacher Resources

There are now even more free†lesson plans available on TryEngineering.org’s international editions! We’ve just added dozens of lesson plans in the following languages:


Quickstart: we have resources for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Guidance Counselors