Posts Tagged ‘getting kids interested in science’

IEEE EDS hosts Solar Day Student Competition at 2012 PVSC

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

On 3 June, a group of mostly 10th grade students from Taylor High School in Austin, Texas, USA took first place at the IEEE Electron Devices Society’s (EDS) Austin Solar Day Competition. The team won for its B.L.A.D.E van (Beginners Learning Alternative Designs for Energy), which it transformed into an alternative energy vehicle (A.E.V.) from a donated 1995 GMC Safari. To win, teams had to demonstrate the use of photovoltaics in a practical application, using only photovoltaics as the power source for the project.

To build the vehicle, the team met each week after school to solder 6″ x 6″ polycrystalline wafers and construct 144-watt solar panels. The students mounted the panels on the AEV to charge a bank of (8) 6-volt deep cycle batteries connected in a series-parallel circuit. The batteries are charged through voltage regulators and wired to inverters, with the inverters wired to weatherproof receptacles cut into the van. The team won, not only for building the solar cells and the energy system, and for netting sponsorships and materials donations, but for teaching the public about solar energy with fun activities like free movies in the park using a projector, DVD player and amplifier plugged into a weatherproof receptacle – all powered by the B.L.A.D.E. van.

IEEE EDS Austin Solar Day, held alongside the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), attracted about 2,000 people from the area. The competition allowed students to interact directly with world-famous photovoltaic technologists and businesses. Attendees included PV installers, PV buyers, students, utilities, and the general public interested in including solar power in their daily lives.

IEEE Circuits & Systems Society sponsors workshop for Indian students

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Although India is rapidly producing engineers, there are far too few Indian students pursuing careers in circuits and systems, a major problem for a country where multimedia technology is expanding every day. Adding to the problem, there is no interaction between university research labs and high schools in the country. Getting high school/secondary students interested in circuits and systems before they head for college will help boost the number of college students pursuing careers in this important field.

The First IEEE Circuits & Systems Society Outreach Workshop on Machine Intelligence is designed to do just that. On 18 – 20 May 2012, 55 high performing students from 34 schools in Kerala, India were selected to attend the workshop, where they learned all about intelligent systems, circuit and systems, pattern recognition and image processing. The workshop included lab sessions on image processing and understanding creativity and emotions for intelligent machines. Many students found the sessions on emotional intelligence in robots, bioinformatics and geoinformatics appealing as career options. They also had fun interacting with research scientists from industry and academia who participated in the workshop.

(View the full list of programs here.)

The IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (IEEE CAS) supported the workshop through its outreach program funding (the program was one of 15 proposals selected worldwide). It was the only IEEE CAS outreach-supported program in India for 2011-2012. The Machine Intelligence Research Group of the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management – Kerala (IIITM-K) organized the event. Another workshop is scheduled to be held in December.

(View the workshop’s image gallery.)

“My Daughter is an Engineer” program helps get girls interested in engineering

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

22 February 2012 – Women represent only about 20 percent of engineering students and 10 percent of profession engineers, according to statistics. The “My Daughter is an Engineer” (MDIAE) program — designed to bring mothers and daughters together to participate in engineering-based activities — is helping to change that. This K-12 outreach program, sponsored by the IEEE Control Systems Society, introduces robotics and controls to young girls via hands-on engineering workshops with an aim to get them to consider future careers in STEM (science, engineering, technology, and mathematics). Participants included 14 elementary school girls and their mothers who worked together in two engineering-based workshops on robotics and controls technology in everyday life at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), California, USA. Each student and her mother formed a team, made a remote-controlled robot (called the RC Snap Rover), designed an application to use the robot in helping a daily task, presented their project, and demoed their robot. Three winners were selected based on the creativity and performance.

The girls also participated in a separate workshop on academic career preparation and skills learning. The program included a field trip to Columbia Memorial Space Center at City of Downey, California, USA, in which students and their mothers visited a realistic mock-up of a spacecraft and mission control room. To successfully complete their mission, they became crew members on a simulated space mission to solve real-life problems in math, science, and technology. After the mission, they visited a robotics lab to program a robot on Lego/Mission Mars computer and tested their skills with collecting, surveying, and rescuing. Finalists were recommended and selected by the school counselors and the MDIAE program committee. Participating schools included four schools from the Long Beach Unified School District: Chavez Elementary, Edison Elementary, International Elementary, and Roosevelt Elementary (California, USA). More information can be found on the Women in Engineering Outreach Program Web site.

 

IEEE Electron Devices Society “Engineers Demonstrating Science Program” launched

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

31 August 2011- As part of the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) strategy to rejuvenate chapter activities in the United States and the rest of the world, the newly created Engineers Demonstrating Science – an Engineer Teacher Connection (IEEE EDS-ETC) program has recently launched. The goal of the program is to enable chapter members to visit local schools or host events designed to engage young students in the field of electrical engineering. By utilizing easy-to-use Elenco Snap Circuits kits, students learn about electronic circuits using a “hands-on” approach to experiencing the exciting and creative field of electronics. The Society hopes EDS-ETC will encourage students to consider electrical and electronic engineering as a career.

The program, led by IEEE EDS volunteer Fernando Guarin, was designed with help from the Rochester, Boise and the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapters. These dedicated volunteers are working with local science teachers ranging from the 4th through 12th grade levels to run initial evaluations. In the first phase of the project, IEEE EDS plans to make this offering available to its chapters in the United States. Based on this experience, the Society will extend the program to EDS chapters around the globe. In anticipation, the Society recruited the Colombia Chapter to run a pilot program in Bogota, Columbia with the participation of two major universities partnering with local schools.