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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.

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.

February 28, 2011 | Games

Ever wonder what it takes to engineer a city? IBM’s innovative new CityOne Game lets you step into the shoes of an urban planner. Solve real-world†problems related to water, energy and transportation to create a smarter, more sustainable city. 

Play the game…

February 16, 2011 | Innovations

Ordinary table sugar could be a key ingredient to developing much lighter, faster, cheaper, denser and more robust computer electronics for use on U.S. military aircraft. Though admittedly far in the future, recent results from a program led by chemist and Rice University professor Dr. James Tour demonstrate yet another example of the cutting-edge basic research funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Office of Scientific Research. Tour and his colleagues at Rice have developed a relatively easy and controllable method for making pristine sheets of graphene — the one-atom-thick form of carbon — from regular table sugar and other solid carbon sources.† Learn more…

February 14, 2011 | Student Opportunities

There’s still time to register for the 2011 JETS TEAMS Competition! JETS TEAMS is a national competition where high school students†connect math and science to engineering by solving real-world engineering scenarios.††The 2011 theme is “Smarter Energy, Cleaner Planet” and students will be tasked with devising solutions to†meet†our world’s†growing energy demands.††Learn more…

February 3, 2011 | Uncategorized

Windshields that shed water so effectively that they don’t need wipers. Ship hulls so slippery that they glide through the water more efficiently than ordinary hulls. These are some of the potential applications for graphene, one of the hottest new materials in the field of nanotechnology, raised by the research of James Dickerson, assistant professor of physics at Vanderbilt University. Explore more on TryNano.org and try out TryEngineering.org’s lesson on Nano Waterproofing.

February 3, 2011 | Innovations

Villanova University mechanical engineering professor Dr. Hashem Ashrafiuon is developing technology with potential application for real-time diagnosis of concussions in athletes. Currently used to study PTSD in military personnel, application to athletics would involve equipping players’ helmets with a chip to store baseline brain activity data and sensors to detect anomalies during play.  Data would be relayed to computers on the sidelines so coaches could pull injured athletes to receive medical attention and prevent further exacerbation of injuries.


January 26, 2011 | Innovations

Imagine a hole so small that air can’t go through it, or a hole so small it can trap a single wavelength of light. Nanotech Security Corp., with the help of Simon Fraser University (SFU) researchers, is using this type of nanotechnology — 1,500 times thinner than a human hair and first of its kind in the world — to create unique anti-counterfeiting security features. The technology is first being applied to banknotes but it also has many more practical applications, such as authenticating legal documents, retail merchandise, concert tickets, stock certificates, visas, passports, and pharmaceuticals.† Explore more on TryNano.org and try out TryEngineering.org’s lesson on Biomimicry in Engineering.


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