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Fairs, competitions, expos and other science and engineering events.
Recommended posts: Intel International Science and Engineering Fair - IIT Madras Engineering Festival - UK Young Engineers Competitions

fairs, competitions, festivals and other science and engineering events.

Darwin Day

Find a Darwin Day Celebration near you. Events from hundreds of sites including:

Robo-One Grand Championship in Tokyo

Two-legged robots battle for supremacy at the the Robo-One Convention in Tokyo. Very fun video. The robots has to be built from scratch by amateurs. Also see ROBO-ONE: Grand Championship Competition @ IREX (with full video of final match).

Related: LEGO Sumo Robotic ChampionshipNorthwest FIRST Robotics CompetitionMaking Robots from TrashRobot DreamsToyota Robots

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2007

Top 3 students - Intel ISEF 2007

Can These Kids Save American Science?

Jose Manuel Otero realized that science was his goal in 1996, when he went to ISEF with a project on filtering diesel from water using charcoal that he made from leaves and grass. Otero, the son of Spanish immigrants who never finished high school, took first place in the Connecticut state fair and went on to the internationals, winning third place in his division. “I didn’t know I wanted to be a scientist until I got to ISEF,” he says.

Where students in previous generations built robots in their basements or sampled pond water in the local park, the majority of today’s winning projects showcase research done in a lab under the supervision of a mentor, an academic at a university or corporate research institute. Students get their own portion of the lab’s investigation. If they discover anything of significance, they might be rewarded as a co-author of a paper the professor submits to a journal, or they might share in a patent that the lab takes out on their work. One team project from Stony Brook’s summer program on detecting individual cancer cells by how hard or soft they are is up for a patent and has been submitted to the journal Science.

The top three winners of the ISEF receive a $50,000 scholarship and $4 million in cash and scholarships are awarded. Related: Intel ISEF Awards 2006Science Fair Project on Bacterial Growth on Packaged SaladsAmber’s Science Talent Search BlogScience Fair Directory

National Underwater Robotics Challenge

See the National Underwater Robotics Challenge web site for information on the event in Arizona June 8th through 10th. They offer a remote underwater vehicle kit for $250.

The ROV-IN-A-BOX is intended to help get teams involved that are new to underwater robotics. Buy purchasing this kit, it helps put an inexperienced team, or a team with young students like elementary school kids, into a comfort zone to allow them to take on the Underwater Challenge. It reduces the stress, time and resources needed to acquire all the parts to complete an ROV for the competition. The kit can also be used by a more mature team as a starting point for the ROV they may want to build.

There will be a live video stream June 9 at 8pm MST and will continue to until about 2am MST June 10. The video will come from both the ROV and in the pool with event cameras in and around the submarine. Once the video has been processed and mixed poolside by Arizona State University’s Applied Learning Technologies Institute, it will then be channeled to Chandler High School’s television studio, where it will be broadcast to a view gallery and simultaneously sent to a server at ASU where it will be webcast to the world.

Related: La Vida Robot – great Wired article on the Carl Hayden High SchoolUnmanned Water VehiclesNorthwest FIRST Robotics Competition

Video of the ROV in a box:
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Inventor TV Shows

I caught some of Everyday Edisons the other day, which looked promising (though I would prefer less fluff and more focus on the process of designing and marketing the products. American Inventor season two premiers tonight on ABC. I saw some of American Inventor last year and it was interesting (though it didn’t grab me enough to get me to watch often). Still compared to the usual TV fair they look interesting and do actually provide some insight into turning ideas into products.

One minor point I find funny and a bit lame. On the Everyday Edisons web site they show a photo with 10 people and then have an image underneath it with text (yes image text like a myspace page – obviously whoever is responsible for this website doesn’t follow the advice of the web usability experts – this image text is just one example, another is that every time you go the home page it starts playing a video with audio – it is annoying to have web sites with so little idea of good web design practices) that states something like “I thought there were 14 inventors, I only see seven. What’s up?” The image actually shows 10 people – not 7, what is up with someone that only sees 7?

Related: Engineering Education Reality TV (which I also note web usability failings) – Help Choose the New PBS Science ProgramJapan Project X: Innovators Documentaries
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Eco-Vehicle Student Competition

photo of Los Altos High School's Academy of Engineering vehicle

Most miles, least fuel wins

Los Altos High School‘s Academy of Engineering was one of more than 20 high schools and colleges from across the U.S. and Canada whose engineering students came together Saturday to compete in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas. The race is designed not to see which vehicle could go the fastest, but which one could travel the farthest on the least amount of fuel. The grand prize: $10,000 to the winning school.

Participating schools included Purdue University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Grand Rapids Technical School, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Rose- Hulman Institute of Technology and Mater Dei High School.

By the end of the day, it was Cal Poly San Luis Obispo that took the grand prize for combustion-engine vehicles. The team’s vehicle traveled 1,902.2 miles to the gallon. Rose-Hulman took second place with 1,637.2 miles to the gallon, and Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind., came in third at 1,596 miles per gallon. Los Altos High School took first place for the hydrogen-engine group. The group’s vehicle traveled 1,038 miles to the gallon.

Photo from Shell Eco-Marathon Americas site (see more photos, results, webcasts…).

Related: La Vida RobotStudent Algae Bio-fuel ProjectNASA Engineering ChallengesInternational Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition
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NSF Cafe Scientifique: Arlington, Virgina

Cafe Scientifique NSF. Where: The Front Page, 4201 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Virginia (Ballston Metro stop). 6:30PM-8:00PM presentation, followed by Q&A: The “Shocking” Science Behind Electric Cars:

Science makes many things possible, including alternative fuels and modes of personal transportation… Goldstein and Garlow are the President and VP of the DC area Electric Vehicle Association. They will discuss the science behind electric cars, such as fuel cells and battery technology, and some of the issues surrounding their use and acceptance. And, they will bring actual cars to touch and explore, including the MIT entry into the 1994 Tour de Sol, an electric car that is solar-powered, and an all-electric Toyota RAV4.

Cafe Scientifique flourished first in the U.K. as a way for the public and scientists to mingle and discuss science issues in an informal setting. At least 35 cafés now exist in the U.S.

I hope to make it this month.

Related: Café Scientifique DirectoryNSF Strategic Plan

NSF Summer Institute on Nano Mechanics and Materials

NSF Summer Institute on Nano Mechanics and Materials is offering short courses this summer, one at Northwestern and one at UCLA. NSF fellowships are available to professors, high-school science teachers, post-docs and Ph.D. candidates from US universities. The fellowship consists of full tuition plus a travel allowance, if applicable. Apply by April 1, 2007. I really like that the NSF provides funds to help people attend this type of thing.

The objectives of the NSF Summer Institute on Nano Mechanics and Materials are:

* To identify and promote important areas of nanotechnology, and to create new areas o focus which will augment current nanotechnology research and development by universities, industries and government.
* To train future and practicing engineers, scientists and educators in the emerging areas of nanotechnology, nano-mechanics, and nano-materials.
* To exchange new ideas, disseminate knowledge and provide valuable networking opportunities for researchers and leaders in the field.

The short courses offered by the Institute provide fundamentals and recent new developments in selected areas of nanotechnology. The material is presented at a level accessible to BS graduates of science and engineering programs. Emphasis is on techniques and theory recently developed that are not available in texts or standard university courses.

Engineers Week Ideas

Ideas for engineers to use during engineering week, from the Engineering Education Service Center (on the USA engineering week):

Engineers week is a unique time that takes place every February during Presidents week. 40,000 engineers go into classrooms to promote the profession and give students a better understanding of engineering. This is our chance to show the world that engineering is an exciting career and that engineers really can do anything!

Related: USA Engineering WeekAustralia Engineering WeekCanadian Engineering WeekUK Science and Engineering WeekSingapore Engineering Week

If you know of other similar activities in other countries please add a comment.

Northwest FIRST Robotics Competition

photo of FIRST robots competition

The Pacific Northwest FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules.

Newport High students look to future with robotics venture by Terry Dillman:

Founded in 1989 to “inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology,” the not-for-profit, New Hampshire-based FIRST designs “accessible, innovative programs” to encourage students to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while simultaneously building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

Teams build their robots using the parts kit for the basics, and procuring other parts as needed to augment the kit and make the robot do what’s required in competition.

Related: Robot Football2006 FIRST Robotics Competition Regional EventsRI FIRSTBoosting Engineering, Science and Technology

Building minds by building robots

Photo of Llever Elementary students

Building minds by building robots:

Emily Conner said she likes to spent free time on the Internet at home, learning about nanotechnology and specifically, nanomedicine.

The small video devices that can be attached to tubes and inserted through natural body openings for medical exploratories and procedures sound pretty high tech.

But through nanomedicine, “people could swallow a ‘pillcam’ and would’ have to use wires,” said Emily.

That’s pretty heavy duty stuff for a J.D. Lever Elementary School fifth-grader. Emily and her classmates are getting ready for a regional FIRST LEGO League competition at the James Taylor Center on the Aiken High school campus Saturday. Eleven teams from Aiken and other areas are expected to participate, with the top performers going on to a state contest in January.

Related: Lego LearningFun k-12 Science and Engineering LearningFIRST Robotics Competitionnanotechnology posts