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13th Annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day Brings Engineering to Life Through Immersive Events and Hands-on, Real World Engagement

WASHINGTON DC, February 10, 2014 | On February 20, 2014, women engineers, along with their male counterparts, will engage and mentor as many as one million girls around the country during the 13th Annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. This empowering day is packed with workshops, lab tours, on-line discussions and interactive, hands-on activities at businesses, universities, libraries and other venues across the country. Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is one of the tent pole events that make up Engineers Week 2014, February 16-22.
 
Many girls are convinced that engineering is a field that does not readily embrace female professionals. The inspiring message of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day turns that assumption on its head. The next generation will see the end of the long held belief about engineering and gender, in which men have traditionally dominated. For young women interested in engineering, the walls are coming down, the ceiling is cracking and the opportunities have never been greater or more exciting. 
 
In 2014, Girl Day is again highlighted by a live #STEMchat on Twitter, set for February 19th at 9:00 pm (ET).  #STEMchat is a monthly Twitter conversation that brings together parents, educators and STEM professionals to share ideas and resources to raise STEM-loving kids. Moderated by The Maker Mom (www.themakermom.com), Kim Moldofsky (@KimMoldofsky), and featuring a group of savvy panelists committed to creating STEM career opportunities for girls, the chats are lively, informative and engaging. 
 
Panelists for the Girl Day #STEMchat include DuPont Global Engineering Six Sigma Black Belt and Project Manager @ShermanJen (Jennifer Sherman) and @jonesamyk (Amy Jones), Product Engineer, Software Verification and Validation for @JohnDeere. Additional panelists include @thienkim (Thien-Kim Lam), @scrappinmichele (Michele McGraw), @JusticeFergie (Stacey Ferguson), @LittleTechGirl (Kris Cain), @TechSavvyMama (Leticia Barr), @SaraFHawkins (Sara Hawkins) and @Bonggamom (Ana Picazo). To participate in the #STEMchat, tweet #Girlday2014 or #STEMchat.
This year’s chat focuses on the school-to-career track in engineering for girls, with a specific focus on inspiring, motivating and ultimately retaining girls in the field.
 
Find out more about Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day by watching this short video. The piece presents an inspiring overview of Girl Day activities and captures some of the most memorable and compelling moments from previous years. For additional information, visit http://www.discovere.org/our-programs/girl-day.
 
Major support for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2014 is provided by ExxonMobil, Bechtel, Alcoa, IEEE-USA, Agilent Technologies, Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman and TE Connectivity.
 
Some of the local activities planned for Girl Day, 2014 include:
  • Bechtel’s Oil, Gas & Chemicals headquarters in Houston will host 100 Girl Scouts. Hosted by Bechtel’s employees, local Girl Scouts will participate in fun, hands-on exercises to teach them about careers in engineering, computers, electrical engineering, and civil engineering.
  • ExxonMobil will offer activities to more than 2,500 students at 16 company locations around the country. More than 450 ExxonMobil employees will lead fun, hands-on activities highlighting oil and natural gas technology, water purification methods and the science of manufacturing cosmetics. Since 2003, nearly 10,000 students have participated in Girl Day activities at ExxonMobil facilities or through classroom demonstrations.
  • At Rockwell Collins’ headquarters in Cedar Rapids, the company will host 100 8th-grade girls from area middle schools. Rockwell Collins volunteers will give tours, presentations and equipment demonstrations to show the girls engineering career possibilities. Since 2002, more the 1,000 girls have participated in this program.
  • The Heart of Iowa Society of Women Engineers will be presenting a showing of the film Top Secret Rosies, about a top secret US military program that was launched during World War II to recruit women to the war effort. Unlike the efforts to recruit Rosie to the factory, this search targeted female mathematicians who would become human 'computers' for the US Army. The film shares a story of the women and technology that helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age.
  • SHINE for Girls will be hosting a Boston/Cambridge wide event at the Boston Public Library. The event will include numerous booths designed to give girls hands-on experience in fun engineering projects and problem solving. Girls from K-8 and their mothers are invited to come by and participate in the activities, meet other girls with similar interests, and meet women who are currently pursuing STEM fields.
  • In Atlantic City, the American Engineering and Science Robotics Academy will host the Mother/Daughter Technology Engineering Aptitude (TEA). This event provides the opportunity for middle school girls to learn about and experience first‐hand what technical and engineering careers are, by paralleling real‐world engineering tasks and problem‐solving opportunities. Activities include building a tabletop hovercraft, hydraulic crane, catapult, and an Indy card car. Involving mothers exposes them to the kinds of engineering careers that are available to their daughters and is intended to influence them to encourage their daughters to learn more about engineering.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, the Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina, the Lowcountry Section of the Society of Women Engineers and The Citadel will host an event on the Citadel campus for Girl Scout Juniors and Girl Scout Cadettes. Citadel engineering professors, cadets and engineering professionals from the community will lead the girls in three activities, including filtering water (environmental engineering), building a tilt lantern and creating a circuit to turn it on/off (electrical engineering and building a catapult (mechanical engineering).
  • At Amphi Middle School in Tucson, women engineers from the community and from the University of Arizona will join 60 girls for lunch, where they will discuss the life of an engineer and what it takes to get there.  A local group, MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement), is creating an engineering challenge that the girls can work on during the event. Attendees will also be invited to attend an engineering event at the University of Arizona called Expand Your Horizons. And, finally, girls will be invited to a week long summer camp on engineering – at no cost to them. This Girl Day event is made possible by assistance of the Girl Scouts and the Blue Marble Institute.
  • In Maryland, Prince George’s County Department of Parks & Recreation will be hosting Discover Engineering, Girl Day at South Tech/Rec in Ft. Washington, to show girls how creative, fun and, oh yes, glamorous engineering can be.  Girls will participate in the Chemical Engineering Experience and learn how they can “Be an Engineer.”
About DiscoverE
DiscoverE works year-round to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession critical to public health, safety, and welfare. The foundation supports engineering outreach, education, and celebration through a network of thousands of volunteers in its partner coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences, and making science and math relevant. The foundation and coalition are actively putting the E in STEM.
 
For more information, visit www.discovere.org.  
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Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

Instagram of the Day

USGS Hovercraft — Many kids, even a lot of adults, love the idea of driving a hovercraft around! But this hovercraft is vital to the safety of USGS scientists in the field taking measurements in frozen, and partially frozen, rivers. Hovercrafts, like this one, allow our hydrographers to access rivers with unsafe ice conditions more easily.

In this shot, we see Nick Stasulis from our Maine office piloting the hovercraft on the Kennebec River near Richmond, Maine.

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Chrysler Group Engineer Receives 2014 Black Engineer of the Year "Visionary Award"

Chrysler Group Engineer Receives 2014 Black Engineer of the Year "Visionary Award" (via PR Newswire)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler Group Head of Fastener Engineering honored during 28th annual event Award recognizes leaders "whose lifetime performance marks a career that affects the careers of many others" Chrysler Group…

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‘Sneak Peak Friday’ Gives Busy STEM Fans an Exciting Preview of Exhibits Set for USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo!

This post is part of our ongoing series highlighting awesome events going on at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, taking place April 26th & 27th at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Learn more here: blog.stemconnector.org/usa-science-engineering-festival.

With busy schedules, sometimes it’s hard to fit even the most exciting STEM education event in the country into your plans.  Which is why the Festival Expo has introduced “Sneak Peek Friday,” a special event on April 25 to give school groups, homeschoolers and military families a chance to preview and experience the Expo’s more than 3,000 exhibits from across the nation before they open to the general public the weekend of April 26-27. As testament to the demand for this special event (presented by the Department of Defense – Celebrating Diversity in STEM!), Sneak Peak Friday preregistration has already topped 30K, more than double from last year, so sign up today!

Sneak Peak Friday: Friday, April 25, 2014 - 9:00am to 3:00pm - Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC

Presented by the Department of Defense - Celebrating Diversity in STEM! - See more at: http://www.usasciencefestival.org/2014-festival/sneak-peek-friday.html#sthash.e8PQBosh.dpuf.

The Creator of C++, Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup, and the Chair of the ISO C++ Committee, Herb Sutter, Team Up to Educate C++ Developers at EE Live! 2014

The Creator of C++, Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup, and the Chair of the ISO C++ Committee, Herb Sutter, Team Up to Educate C++ Developers at EE Live! 2014 (via PR Newswire)

Learn Key C++ Standards, Programming and Concepts from Prominent C++ Experts Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup + Herb Sutter to Educate C++ Developers at EE Live! 2014. (PRNewsFoto/UBM Tech) SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- UBM Tech's EE Live! 2014,…

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Helping Hollywood Get the Science Right: At the USA Science & Engineering Festival, Meet the STEM Experts Who Are Making it Happen!

This post is part of our ongoing series highlighting awesome events going on at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, taking place April 26th & 27th at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Learn more here: blog.stemconnector.org/usa-science-engineering-festival.

Why is it so important to get the science correct in TV and film? You’ll get the answers straight from the scientists and physicians who are serving as advisors to some the hottest TV shows today. Don’t miss the action when the Festival convenes the “Getting the Science Right in Hollywood” panel discussion next April in Washington, DC, featuring: noted transplantation cardiologist and computer scientist John Sotos, who serves as a medical technical advisor to House, MD and science advisor to the Dr. Who spinoff, Torchwood: Miracle Day; particle physicist David Saltzberg, the science advisor to the popular CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, and organic chemist Donna Nelson, science consultant for AMC‘s Breaking Bad series.

Learn More about this 2014 Stage Show: Getting the Science Right in Hollywood

Why is it so important to get the science correct in TV and film? Ask that question to organic chemist Donna Nelson, particle physicist David Saltzberg, and physician John Sotos and you'll get valuable insight into why they serve as science advisers to some of the hottest science/medical TV shows on the air today.
 
Meet these science celebrities and hear their viewpoints as they participate in the "Getting the Science Right in Hollywood" discussion panel scheduled for the USA Science & Engineering Festival's finale Expo in 2014.
 
John Sotos, M.D. – He’s both a physician (who wrote the definitive book on mysterious medical diagnoses) and a noted computer scientist – which makes him admirably suited for his role as medical technical advisor to the hit TV series, House, MD, and science advisor to the sci-fi show, Torchwood: Miracle Day.
 
Donna Nelson, professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma, serves as science advisor to AMC's popular show,"Breaking Bad". She was selected for the program after reading an article in Chemical and Engineering News about how the show's producer was seeking ongoing chemistry advice involving the program's main character, Walt (an organic chemistry high school teacher). Says Nancy: "I thought, 'I can do this!' Chemists and other scientists are always complaining about poor, inaccurate science that appears in movies and television shows. This is an opportunity to do something about it."
 
David Saltzberg, a world-renowned particle physicists at the University of California, Los Angeles, serves as science consultant for CBS TV's "The Big Bang Theory", which boasts 12 million viewers each week. David is known for his attention to getting the science right without detracting from the mood and direction of the sitcom. In enhancing the show's script, he says: "I often choose something new, so people can learn about recent science discoveries." For example, he adds, "I've put in references to the CERN super-collider and to recent discoveries relating to dark matter."
 

Launch of STEM Jobs® magazine Connects Students’ Passions to Real Jobs

Launch of STEM Jobs® magazine Connects Students’ Passions to Real Jobs

Jan. 30, 2014 (Pittsburgh, PA) | Victory Media announces the launch of STEM Jobs® magazine, a national digital and print publication that encourages high school and college students, especially women and minorities, to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and careers. The company launched its web and mobile site in 2013 at http://stemjobs.com.
 
U.S. students falling further behind in math and science is a serious indicator of the country becoming less economically competitive in the global marketplace. Until now, a critical piece has been missing in the STEM conversation…making the connection between education and employment.
 
STEM Jobs® fills that void with a voice and a brand that makes those careers exciting and tangible for students. “On one hand, we have stubbornly high unemployment in this country, and on the other, we have employers who have tons of unfilled technical jobs.  The solution to this ‘skills gap’ is to encourage our young people to pursue STEM education,” said Jolene Jeffries, Chair of the STEM Jobs® Council and former Director of Employment at Union Pacific Railroad and VP of Strategic Partnerships for the Direct Employers Association.
 
The premier issue highlights the science behind making our Olympic athletes more competitive at Sochi. Additional features include articles on teen cancer researcher Jack Andraka, careers at Google, ALCOA, Pfizer, Chevron, Fedex, education at California University of PA, Project Lead the Way and the U.S. Navy. Upcoming issues tie technical skills to great jobs at companies like ESPN, Cirque du Soleil and National Geographic. “By reflecting our tagline, Do What You Love, STEM Jobs® will make these fields ‘cool’ in the cafeteria.” said Daniel Nichols, STEM Jobs® president and former executive at the U.S. Department of Labor.
 
STEM Jobs® magazine is distributed digitally to over 600,000 students and 20,000 teachers in coordination with a classroom publication reaching 15,000 schools in all 50 states across the US and has a print circulation of 200,000. Go to stemjobs.com to sign up for a free, digital subscription and for first notice of the extensive digital tools aimed at helping students explore STEM careers planned for release later this year.
 
About STEM Jobs 
STEM Jobs encourages all students to pursue STEM careers through an engaging media platform (digital and print magazine, http://www.stemjobs.com, http://edu.stemjobs.com and social media) and assessment tools

 

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Congressional High School App Contest

This year marks the first annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, the “House App Contest.”  This new competition is designed to engage student’s creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields.  Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is a nationwide event that allows high school students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.  Throughout the completion period, participating students will be provided opportunities to engage with various STEM educational partners located within the community to mentor and assist them with their app development.  
 
The “House App Challenge” is open to all high school students in participating districts. Students entering the competition must submit their app’s source code online during the Competition Submission Period between 12 PM Eastern Standard Time on FEBRUARY 1ST, 2014, and 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time on APRIL 30TH, 2014, as well as provide a YouTube or VIMEO video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.
 
Can I Participate?
  1. Members of Congress must opt-in for their district to participate in this competition. If a Member does not opt-in, constituents in their district will be ineligible to participate. Find out if I am eligible.
  2. The Competition is open only to high school students who reside in a participating district or who are eligible to attend public high school in that district. Individuals submitting on behalf of teams must meet the eligibility requirements for individual Contestants
To Register
 
To enter, the student must register for the House Student App Challenge under their participating Member of Congress’ profile and register on www.challengepost.com during the Competition Submission Period. All entries must be an original in concept, design and execution.
  1. Register for the House Student App Challenge
  2. Register at http://housestudentapps.challengepost.com/

Encourage your member of Congress to participate today!

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Business Partnerships Help Michigan Science Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) and other new/existing business partnerships continue to bolster confidence in the stability of the Michigan Science Center.  MiSci, formerly the Detroit Science Center, opened its doors in December 2012 with the help of several major donors.  Ford Motor Company Fund made an initial $200,000 donation at the time.  DTE Energy Foundation also made a contribution in 2012, totalling $250,000.  

Both companies are continuing their support of MiSci as they seek to raise awareness and interest in STEM education.  “The science center is an educational gem that attracts and inspires thousands of Southeastern Michigan families every year,” said Fred Shell, chair of the DTE Energy Foundation and vice president of DTE Energy’s Corporate and Government Affairs group.  “The Foundation’s contribution is part of DTE Energy’s broader support of STEM education initiatives preparing the future workforce of our state.”  "Michigan Science Center is a great place for students and families to explore how science and technology impacts and improves our lives," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. "At Ford we understand that our future depends on engaging and effective educational opportunities for the next generation."

Recently DTE announced that it would commit to donating $1 million over five years, and Ford continues to contribute in its pledge of $400,000 over three years.  

Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center has stated that "These contributions enable us to continue to reach out and provide children and their families with unique science experiences that encourage a greater interest in STEM education – an integral component to boosting Detroit's and Michigan's economies."

In a city in the midst of bankruptcy the Michigan Science Center is a shining light, a light powered by the charitable contributions of community-minded corporations in the Metro-Detroit region.

About The Michigan Science Center
The Michigan Science Center is a hands-on museum that inspires children and their families to discover, explore and appreciate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Science Center features five theaters, including Michigan's largest screen at the Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre; the Dassault Systemes Planetarium; the Toyota Engineering Theater; the DTE Energy Sparks Theater; the Chrysler Science Stage; a 9,800 square-foot Science Hall for traveling exhibits; hands-on exhibit galleries focusing on space, life and physical science; Kids Town just for pint-size scientists; and education and outreach programs.
 
For more information, please call 313.577.8400 or visit the website, http://www.michigansciencecenter.org .
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ACT Report Reveals New STEM Gap: Untapped Pool of STEM-Interested Students

This is a press release from ACT

A new report from ACT reveals an untapped pool of students who have an interest in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) but are not planning to pursue a STEM career as they prepare for the future. The data point to a gap between interests and intentions that, if addressed, could help put more students on the path to STEM careers.

“The good news is that student interest in STEM is high overall,” said Jon Erickson, ACT president of education and career solutions. “The bad news is that a sizable number of students may not be connecting the dots between their innate interests and a potential STEM-related career.”

The ACT national and state report series, The Condition of STEM 2013, examines the expressed and measured interests of high school graduates in the class of 2013 who took the ACT® college readiness exam. Expressed interest is when students say they intend to pursue a particular major or occupation. Measured interest, in contrast, is derived from students’ responses to the ACT Interest Inventory, a battery of questions that measures preferences for different types of work tasks.

A total of 48 percent of the ACT-tested 2013 graduates had expressed and/or measured interest in STEM, including 16 percent who had both. Twenty-three percent had only expressed interest, planning to pursue a STEM career even though their inventory results suggest that other fields may be better aligned to their interests. But nearly one out of every 10 graduates (9 percent) had only measured interest in STEM; they had no plans to pursue a STEM major or career despite their innate interest.

“Nothing is more costly to the nation than untapped potential, and that’s why we must do more to ensure that all students understand the career opportunities that match their interests, particularly those that exist in important STEM fields,” said Erickson. “If we can identify students earlier and then keep them engaged, they may be more likely to choose a STEM career.”

ACT’s report also points to a gap between STEM interest and preparation. Around half or more of the 2013 ACT-tested graduates planning to pursue STEM majors and careers were not ready to succeed in first-year math or science coursework in college. Readiness was significantly higher, however, among students with both expressed and measured interest than among those with only expressed interest.

“Early assessment and intervention are extremely important in helping students get on track for college and career success, and that’s particularly true in the areas of math and science, where so many of our students are falling behind,” said Erickson. “That’s one reason why we’ve built STEM scores and benchmarks into our new ACT Aspire™ system and why we’re committed to keeping science tests in the ACT and ACT Aspire assessments.”

Selecting a career that matches interests can help students succeed. Previous ACT research has shown that when students’ interests are aligned with their chosen college majors, they are more likely to remain in their major, persist in college and complete their degree in a timely manner.

“The findings in this new report are supported by those in our recent College Choice Report, which showed that a surprising number of students are planning to pursue majors or careers that don’t match their interests,” said Wayne Camara, ACT senior vice president of research. “If we encourage young students who are interested in STEM to consider related careers, I believe both they and U.S. employers will benefit.”

A number of national reports have pointed to a need for more workers in STEM fields. A recent report from the Bayer Corporation’s Facts of Science Education survey suggests Fortune 1000 companies are struggling to fill STEM positions due to a shortage of qualified candidates. And a 2012 report by President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology concluded that the need for STEM professionals will significantly outweigh the availability of those workers over the next decade if current trends continue.

“This report gives educators, business leaders and policymakers access to important new information regarding the condition of STEM education in our country,” said Lisa Brady Gill, executive director of education policy and advocacy for Texas Instruments. “We feel it provides much-needed insight that will help us as we work together towards real and meaningful change in this area.”

The STEM job outlook is strong, and STEM occupations tend to be high paying, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the recently released U.S. News & World Report 100 Best Jobs of 2014, more than half of the top 50 jobs are STEM related.

The Condition of STEM 2013 reports for the nation and for each state can be accessed for free on ACT’s website at www.act.org/stemcondition.

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ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as the nation’s leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality achievement assessments grounded in more than 50 years of research and experience. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions that help people succeed from kindergarten through career, providing insights that unlock potential. To learn more about ACT, go to www.act.org

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