For young women and girls interested in STEM subjects and careers, learning about science, technology, engineering and math opportunities can be as simple as doing an internet search.
According to today’s educational advice column in the Detroit Free Press, using a search phrase like, “science and math summer enrichment,” plus your town, is a great first step when looking to enhance your STEM credentials.
Through their solar suitcases, the We Care Solar Club of Elk Grove, California is reaching out to the developing world.
Hal Aronson and his wife, Dr. Laura Stachel launched the solar suitcase program through their charity Women’s Emergency Communication and Reliable Energy. When high school engineering teacher, Tim McDougal attended a “solar schoolhouse” given by Aronson, he was convinced the suitcases would be a perfect engineering project for his class.
In turn, the students, hoping to make a difference, have taken on fund raising in addition to suitcase construction. They have raised money for and built two suitcases so far. The first will be sent to the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico next week.
Teacher, McDougal hopes to see the program in all Elk Grove schools next year and Dr. Stachel said a group of students in Colorado is also planning to join the project.
Ever think the Jetson’s car was the perfect car for you? Well, that’s not so far-fetched anymore. A private company, Terrafugia, has developed what they call a “roadable aircraft,” the Terrafugia Transition. The Transition works like a car at first glance. Its body is compact enough to fit inside a normal garage and uses a gas engine to power its front wheels.
The magic happens when the Transition goes from an almost-normal car to a small aircraft in under 30 seconds. According to Terrafugia, the Transition can fly up to 450 miles at over 115 mph. It is considered a Light Sport Aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration, so anyone wanting to fly one of these needs a Sport Pilot License.
Based in Woburn, Massachusetts, Terrafugia was started in 2006 by aeronautical engineers and MBAs from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The five graduates are enthusiastic private pilots and wanted to address the issues private pilots face of uncertain weather, rising costs, and ground transportation hassles.
The Transition completed its first stage, the Proof of Concept stage, on June 3, 2009. The first flight of the Transition took place on March 5, 2009, at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, New York, with success. The Proof of Concept vehicle demonstrated the safety of the Transition and showed where modifications could be incorporated. Now that stage one is completed, the team plans to build their Beta Prototype to test in stage two. Terrafugia hopes to get the Transition to market by 2011. Laws are already in place in Woburn, Terrafugia’s base, to allow the roadable aircraft on its streets.
People looking to buy the Transition can put down a deposit now. The anticipated cost of the Transition will be $194,000—a little more than your average car. But, admittedly, the Transition isn’t your typical car.
Given the current economic environment, it’s fair to speculate that a majority of the nation’s 2.9 million college freshman feel anxious when faced with declaring a major or choosing a career path. Although, according to data collected by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, students considering a career in Computer Science/Information Technology and Engineering may have a little less reason to stress.
With a projected growth rate of 22% from 2006 to 2016, a future career in Computer and Information Science sounds pretty bright and Network Systems and Data Communications Analysis even brighter, with an expected growth of 53% for the same period. While Engineering is forecast to grow by a rate of 11%, trend areas like biomedical, environmental, and industrial engineering are expected to exceed 20% growth by 2016…