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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.


Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute created a new interactive tool to help beginner robotics students and experts make their own custom robots. With a drag and drop interface, the tool provides roboticists with a physical simulation environment where they can test out their robots before constructing them. There is also an auto-complete feature which assembles the components based on the decided arrangements. The tool was developed by Ruta Desai, a robotics Ph.D. student, along with Assistant Professor Stelian Coros, and master’s student Ye Yuan. The team presented their project report at the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Singapore. Check out the video by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute to see how it works. 


Future City is a project-based learning program for middle school students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. They will work as a team to research, design, and build their imagined cities of the future. Student teams need to complete five parts– design a SimCity, research and write a description of the city, build a model, develop a project plan, and present their city to the judges. Most teams work together to create their city idea and then divide up the work depending on a teammate’s interests and skills. The winning team from each Regional Finals will win a free trip to compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C. National winners can win a cash donation to their school’s STEM program and a trip to Space Camp. Registrationfor the 2017-2018 competition closes October 31, 2017. So share this link with your teacher and ask them to register online as your team leader today!


For more competition information


Join Wavie as she leads you through a fun new video series. Designed to help you learn about remote sensing, these short videos discuss satellite orbits and how the earth is observed by scientists from space. Check out these five videos created by the IEEE Geoscience & Remote Sensing Society to learn more about satellite imaging, remote sensors, and orbital rotation. With its colorful animation and videos in English, Spanish, and Chinese, these videos make learning fun!

 Follow the link to watch now!

June 14, 2017 | Innovation

Air pollution is a problem in many cities around the world. While planting trees in urban areas is a well-known way of fighting CO₂ emissions, this is not always a possibility in all cities. Understanding this, four friends worked to find a new strategy to tackle environmental problems in cities. Eventually they created the “CityTree”, a mobile installation that uses moss cultures to filter fine dust, nitrogen oxides, and a large amount of CO₂ emissions out of the air. They pollutants are then contained in the moss leaves. The installation is self-sufficient, requiring very little maintenance. Solar panels provide it electricity, Wi-Fi sensors measure pollution levels in the air, and collected rainwater is cycled through the ground to water it. The “CityTree” is available in two versions: with or without a bench. It also has a display for information or advertising.  

So far, 20 “CityTrees” have been placed in cities around the world. The team hopes that in the future they can introduce them to lower-income countries with higher levels of pollutants. 

June 12, 2017 | Innovation

Student engineers at the University of Michigan are in the process of creating a braille tablet with the ability to display both text and graphics. Unlike previous refreshable braille displays, which are limited to displaying text sentence by sentence, this new braille tablet will be able to display webpage text in full page increments. The developers have achieved this through the use of air pressure, which pushes specific bubbles up through holes beneath the screen so that they can be felt by users through the touch screen membrane on the surface of the tablet. Set to be released in two to three years’ time, these tablets will give blind people the ability to read not just webpage text, but also graphs, spreadsheets, and other digital content. With this new technology in their hands, The Holy Braille tablet will give blind people the ability to accomplish tasks in a fraction of the time than if they were using current technology.

plastic bottles
May 26, 2017 | Innovations

The New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize is calling for for designers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and academics 18 years of age and older, to create a plastics system that works. The competition aims to advance the design and recycling of plastics—particularly packaging—to keep valuable material out of the ocean. To achieve the goal of eliminating plastic packaging waste, the Prize is composed of two parallel challenges:

- The $1 million Circular Design Challenge which invites applicants to rethink how we can get products to people without generating plastic waste. The Challenge will focus on small-format packaging items (10% of all packaging) such as shampoo sachets, wrappers, straws and coffee cup lids, which are currently almost never recycled and often end up in the environment. Anyone with a good idea for how to get products to people without using disposable packaging can enter this Challenge partnered by OpenIDEO.

- The $1 million Circular Materials Challenge seeks ways to make all plastic packaging recyclable. About 13% of today’s packaging, such as crisp packets and food wrappers, is made of layers of different materials fused together. This multi-layer construction provides important functions like keeping food fresh, but also makes the packaging hard to recycle. The Challenge therefore invites innovators to find alternative materials that could be recycled or composted. The Challenge partner is NineSigma.

Winners will enter a 12-month accelerator programme offering exclusive access to industry experts, commercial guidance, feedback on user and scalability requirements, advice on performance expectations, and access to innovation labs for testing and development. The first winners will be announced later this year.

The New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and was launched in collaboration with HRH The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit. The Prize is funded by Wendy Schmidt, Lead Philanthropic Partner of the New Plastics Economy Initiative.

Learn more at: https://newplasticseconomy.org/innovation-prize



May 24, 2017 | Student Opportunities

MEC Data Challenge is a cutting-edge competition open to all enthusiastic scientist students in Europe who want to showcase their analytic and technical skills.

The participating students work in team (1-3 students) and have to develop algorithm for processing the significant cumulative big data from media sector:
• 3 500 000 data rows
• 475 users
• Desktop and mobile data

To reward the best teams, the three best projects will receive:
• 1st team: 3000€
• 2nd team: 1500€
• 3rd team: 500€

Deadline to submit proposals is:  June 25th 2017

Learn more at:


movie patrons
May 16, 2017 | Innovations

Check out this great article from Google about how machine learning is shedding light on gender bias in movies. 


May 15, 2017 | Student Opportunities

SnackDown is a multi round programming competition open to anyone with a knack for programming. Hosted by CodeChef, the competition was started in the year 2009.

The aim with SnackDown is to pit the finest computer programming brains from different parts of the globe against each other, under one roof in India. SnackDown also provides a unique opportunity for the top programmers of the world to get a flavour of India and at the same time let the Indian programmers meet top global programmers.The competition is open to everyone including the middle and high school students as well as working professionals.

The top prize in this competition is $10,000.

Register by 24 May 2017 at: https://www.codechef.com/snackdown/2017

Thank you teacher!
May 8, 2017 | Announcements

8-12 May 2017

TryEngineering would like to say THANK YOU to all of the educators around the globe working tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of young people. The work you do inspiring a future generation of thought leaders, innovators and trailblazers is immeasurable. We are proud to support and serve you!


Take time this week (and all year round) to #ThankATeacher who has made a difference in your life. 


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