The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Careers in engineering…

engineering.pngA while back I wrote a post that mentioned the TryEngineering.org site.

 

That post led to an exchange with LearnHowToBecome.org about a series of in-depth guides they developed dealing with engineering careers and degree programs:

These might be of interest to those entering into STEM fields, since they break down the industry roles and steps required to enter these careers into easily understood summaries. They also break down the employment picture by state (for example they predict the number of Computer Engineers will grow in Texas by over 14% by 2020).

 

These roles are what will be required to actually build the next big thing in technology.

Labels: Engineering| Future| STEM

FIRST Robotics Competition game for 2014 announced

Saturday was the kickoff for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for 2014. I’ve participated for the last 6 years, locating judges for the North Texas competition. This year, the NTX FRC event will take place on March 13th-15th at the Irving convention center. If you’re in town – be there. It’s free and an exciting show.

 

FRC allows students to start from a standard kit of parts and some state of the art tools, received at the kickoff, and build a robot attempting to meet specified objectives. At the end of the build period, the robots are packed up and they do not see them again until their first competition.

 

This video is an overview of this year’s challenge – Arial Assist:

  

 

I’ve found FRC to be an eye opening experience for the students and the volunteers. Every year I am surprised at the ingenuity and commitment demonstrated by those participating.

 

The main competition is judged by numerous factors beyond how they perform on the field, like:

  • Coopertition (helping others that you are competing against)
  • Project planning
  • Quality/safety
  • Technical achievement
  • Business plan and marketing

 

The on field performance is not judged, since it has its own rules… Referees determine the winners of that portion of the competition.

 

The goal of FIRST is to encourage the understanding and passion around STEM. It has a proven track record of results that is hard to argue with.

 

You can see some video from previous year’s NTX FIRST competition, if you are interested.

 

Tags: future| Robotics| STEM
Labels: Future| Robotics| STEM

HP Catalyst Academy prepares educators for the future

HP Catalyst Academy.pngRecently NMC, ISTE, and HP launched the HP Catalyst Academy. The HP Catalyst Academy extends the work of the HP Catalyst Initiative, which was launched in 2010 to support innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teaching and learning. To date, 56 organizations in 15 countries have received grants from HP to explore how emerging technologies and great teaching can be combined to create powerful STEMx learning experiences for more than 130,000 students around the globe.

 

Beginning in June 2013, the HP Catalyst Academy will offer its first set of online mini-courses, covering a wide range of topics such as:

The mini-course leaders, known as HP Catalyst Fellows, are working to develop these innovative online professional learning experiences.

 

I’ll definitely see if I can find out more about the Digital Fabrication mini-course.

 

Helping educators prepare to both understand these subjects and their application in business is one way to ensure that we’ll have the kind of candidates needed for the workplace of the future.

 

I forgot to add that HP has announced that the RFP is now open for the next group of Fellows to lead mini-courses: http://hp.com/go/hpcatalystacademy.

 

The deadline is July 8th.

We have National Engineers Week ahead of us

engineersWeek2013.pngFor 2013, National Engineers Week (in the US) runs from February 17th -23rd. The purpose of National Engineers Week is to call attention to the contributions to society that engineers make. It is also a time for engineers to emphasize the importance of learning math, science, and technical skills, so there will likely be some events at a school or museum near to you.

FIRST Robotics Competition game for 2013 announced

Saturday was the kickoff for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for 2013. I’ve participated for the last 5 years, coordinating finding judges for the North Texas competition. This year, the NTX FRC event will take place on March 21st-23rd at the Irving convention center. If you’re in town – be there. It’s free and an exciting show. I’ll probably not have time to do the global competition this year, but will help out with the initial FRC in Lubbock on March 1st-March 2nd.

 

FRC allows students to start from a standard kit of parts and some state of the art tools, received at the kickoff, and build a robot attempting to meet specified objectives. At the end of the build period, the robots are packed up and they do not see them again until their first competition.

 

This video is an overview of this year’s challenge – Ultimate Ascent:

  

 

I’ve found FRC to be an eye opening experience for the students and the volunteers. Every year I am surprised at the ingenuity and sacrifice that is demonstrated by those participating.

 

The main competition is judged by numerous factors beyond how they perform on the field, like:

  • Coopertition (helping others that you are competing against)
  • Project planning
  • Quality/safety
  • Technical achievement
  • Business plan and marketing

 

The on field performance is not judged, since it has its own rules… Referees determine the winners of that portion of the competition.

 

The goal of FIRST is to encourage the understanding and passion around STEM. It has a proven track record of results that is hard to argue with.

 

You can see some video from previous year’s NTX FIRST competition as well.

Tags: FIRST| Robotics| STEM
Labels: FIRST| Robotics| STEM
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  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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