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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 29, 2011 | Innovations

Biomedical engineers have announced new technology which will enable the development of engineered blood vessels. The blood vessels have the potential to benefit patients on hemodialysis which requires that plastic shunts connecting arterial blood to venous blood be changed several times a year. This human-tissue engineered vasculature is projected to last three years in patients, and can repair itself, since it is made of real human tissue. The technology to develop the blood vessels improves over existing methods by using allogeneic skin cells, which can create thousands of grafts from a master donor.  Grafts can be refrigerated for months to be available for other patients when needed.

A team of Girl Scouts, who call themselves the Flying Monkeys have won the FIRST

An app known as SleepBot earned a team of engineering students the†top prize in the Go Viral to Improve Health: Institute of Medicine (IOM)-National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Health Data Collegiate Challenge.†SleepBot is†an app that†records users’ sleep habits and compares them†against potential threats associated with sleep deprivation. †The competition challenged interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students to creatively tackle health issues through the development of†web-based or mobile products that encourage community interaction.

June 8, 2011 | Innovations

A team of experts at Kingston University have developed an application to enable responders across Europe to communicate securely in an emergency. The app allows rescue workers to communicate on an independent system via smart devices such as PDAs or iPads in the event of a major crisis such as an earthquake or fire. In the future, the technology may even include sensors to capture heart rate, movement, or temperature to help responders evade potentially life-threatening situations.

June 2, 2011 | Innovations

Software engineering students at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed an interface that makes it possible to write and send an email using only the mind. Designed for use by the disabled, the hands-free MinDesktop prototype uses a headset with 14 EEG connect points to sense brain waves. In the future, the MinDeskop could be expanded to help the disabled execute computing tasks such as web surfing or turning on media players. It could also be adapted for use by non-disabled individuals such as pilots, in occupations where noise is a concern.

May 19, 2011 | Innovations

Engineers at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria have developed a 3D printer the size of a carton of milk, costing only $1,700 US. The printer produces three dimensional objects using light sensitive resin that hardens when hit with an intense beam of light. The printer has the potential to construct everything from delicate hearing aid components to domestic items such as a lost cufflink.  Learn more…




Photo credit: Vienna University of Technology

May 4, 2011 | Innovations

A team of engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a high-tech bicycle known as Alpha. This innovative bike includes an onboard computer that displays real-time data, fully internal drivetrain with electronically-controlled clutch, lightweight carbon fiber/aluminum frame, and ergonomic handlebars.
Source: http://www.thealphabike.com/

April 27, 2011 | Student Opportunities

The EcoCAR 2 competition sponsored by the Department of Education and General Motors challenges 16 North American universities to optimize the environmental-friendliness of a Chevrolet Malibu without compromising safety, performance, and acceptance by consumers. During this three year program, teams will apply a real-world Vehicle Development Process to design, build, and refine their advanced technology vehicles. Learn more…

An article by Google pioneer Vinton G. Cerf cites hands-on experience in engineering and science as one of the key ingredients†to facilitating innovation amongst pre-university students. Cerf writes, “Young people should understand and experience the thrill of science and discovery. We need to help them do real science, not just read about it, through collaborative tools that help mentors and students to interact through programs such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ tryengineering.org. Children learn best by seeing and doing, not by memorizing.” For ideas on encouraging hands-on learning visit TryEngineering.org’s Lesson Plans and Student Opportunities sections.

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.


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