Posts about Events

20th Annual US First Robotics Competition

If you have a child, niece, nephew, grandchild… who you haven’t been able to convince about the wonders of science maybe the starts on this promo (Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber…) can help convince them. If you want to convince your grandparents science is cool, then maybe they will like the cameos by Steven Tyler and Bono 😛 This is an effort being pushed by will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) and Dean Kamen (US First Founder) to promote science and engineering. Since most politicians don’t seem interested in promoting and supporting science anymore maybe musicians can help turn things around.

I have written about US First, it is a great program. It engages children in learning by taping their curiosity and desire to create. I think learning this way is much more natural and fun and affective than what we have too often in schools today. I know I was bored quite often but was told the adults knew best. Well know I am an adult and I think I was right back then: our education system can, and should be greatly improved. Until then, US First, and similar, programs give kids a good environment for learning that keeps their desire to learn intact.

The video spot was created to promote a TV show commemorating the 20th annual US FIRST Robotics competition. Watch the TV show:

Related: Lunacy, FIRST Robotics Challenge 2009For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), 2005 postTest it Out, Experiment by They Might Be GiantsBotball 2009 Finals

Hardware Hacker Challenge Invitation

Calling all Inventors, Makers and Hackers. This is a fun idea for a hacker invitation. Teams decode the invitation embedded in hardware to reveal their password for an invitation to the creation event.

Related: Botball 2009 FinalsTeen Goalie Designs Camouflage PadsEngineers in the Workplace

4 and 8 Year Old Sisters Impress with Squeak

Young programmers win big

XtremeApps is a competition based in Singapore where competitors program computer applications from scratch.

Armed with just the basics in the Squeak programming language, as well as encouragement – but no help – from mum and dad, the Chan sisters came up with an application called Health Fairies.

It is an interactive, educational story with an anti-smoking message: The main protaganist is a beautiful young girl who loses her youth, and good looks, because she puffs away like there’s no tomorrow.

The sisters took the bulk of the June holidays to complete their entry. They had to come up with the storyline, draw the characters, and write programs that animated the characters, among other things.

Their effort paid off: Health Fairies landed a merit award in the junior category of the contest, beating 68 other contestants, mostly 11 and 12 year olds.

Related: Programming with PicturesProgrammerssoftware development posts on our management blogGlobal Cancer Deaths to Double by 2030

Botball 2009 Finals

Webcast of the double elimination rounds of the Botball 2009 competition of the winning Alcott Middle School Botball team. Norman teens win robotics contest:

The challenge of building the robot and seeing it do what it’s programmed to do is very exciting, said Goree, 14. “I like figuring out what’s wrong with the robots, fixing them and then seeing them work after you fix them,” he said.

The team was shocked, excited and proud of their first-place finish, they said. “Almost all the teams we played against were high school teams, so that was pretty exciting for us, beating high schoolers,” Goree said.

Related: Robo-One Grand Championship in TokyoFIRST Robotics in MinnesotaRoboCup: Robot Football (Soccer)

Lunacy – FIRST Robotics Challenge 2009

The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotic Challenge is a great way to get high school students involved in engineering. Lunacy is the 2009 competition which mimics the low friction environment on the moon (using a slick surface and slick wheels on the robots). For more information see the competition manual and related documents.

Related: FIRST Robotics in MinnesotaKids Fuse Legos and Robotics at CompetitionLa Vida RobotNorthwest FIRST Robotics Competition2006 FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Events

National Girls Collaborative Project for STEM

The National Girls Collaborative Project for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) collaborates with those seeking to increase the participation of girls in STEM feeder activities. The goal is to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Collaboration as a Means to Building Capacity: Results and Future Directions of the National Girls Collaborative Project:

The purpose of the NGCP is to extend the capacity, impact, and sustainability of
existing and evolving girl-serving STEM projects and programs. The NGCP is structured to bring organizations together to compare needs and resources, to share information, and to plan strategically to expand STEM–related opportunities for girls.

Although we are still refining it, the NGCP collaborative model has shown its effectiveness through increased collaboration and minigrant projects with sustained results. As we have described, the success to date of the NGCP in developing collaborations has been demonstrated via data from the collaboration rubric, mini-grant reports, and metrics that show how collaborative activities have increased over the duration of the NGCP projects. As NGCP expands over the next few years to provide regional collaboratives across the entire United States and Puerto Rico, we will continue our assessment of its impact and hope to be able to report its influence on building capacity to attract and retain girls in STEM.

I support programs encouraging STEM activities for girls – and boys. NSF data shows for 2005 shows women outnumbered men in undergraduate degree in science and engineering. For post-graduate degrees men still outnumbering women but that gap has been reducing and seems like it will continue to. And the representations in the workplace seem poised to continue to show a reducing number of men and increasing number of women. Engineering is an example of an area with far more men than women graduating – the imbalance is equivalent to the imbalance the other way for psychology.

Related: Girls Sweep Top Honors at Siemens Competition in Math, Science and TechnologyFIRST Robotics in MinnesotaKids in the Lab: Getting High-Schoolers Hooked on Science

DoE: Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program

The United States Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) provides funds to schools to provide awards to students. 20 new awards (average value of $139,000) were awarded this year. That brings total funding this year to 71 awards (50 continue from previous years). Institutions recieving funds include: Clark Atlanta University, Rust College, New Mexico State University, Spelman College, Virginia State University and the College of Menominee Nation.

The program is designed to effect long-range improvement in science at predominantly minority and engineering education programs to increase the participation of underrepresented ethnic minorities, particularly minority women, into scientific and technological careers.

Wiley College, one of the new recipients, aims to increase the number of science majors, especially in the fields of biology and chemistry. A key feature of this grant is the creation of a high school science competition that will allow local and regional high school students to visit the campus and compete in a variety of scientific events.

This event will bring five area high schools together to compete in ten scientific events based on biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. Individual first-place winners will be given scholarships to Wiley College. There will also be an overall grand champion awarded. This event will allow high school students to experience life at Wiley College and the possibilities of a career in science.

“This event not only gives students a financial reason to enroll at Wiley, but also allows them to become familiar with the campus and its faculty and students, said Dr. Shumate. “This grant also furthers a connection between Wiley and both the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Arkansas, allowing current Wiley students to attend these schools in the summer for biomedical research.”

Wiley hosts HS science competition Saturday

Related: NSF Undergraduate STEM ScholarshipsLoan Forgiveness Program for Engineering StudentsA Life-changing GiftScience and Engineering Scholarships and Fellowships Directoryscience scholarships posts

Team America Rocketry Challenge

On May 17th, in The Plains, Virginia, the Team America Rocketry Challenge finals will be held. After a full day of launches, held at the Great Meadows facility, the winners will be crowned and $60,000 in scholarships will be divided up among the top finishers.

Related: Goldwater Science ScholarshipsSiemens Competition in Math, Science and TechnologyStudent Algae Bio-fuel Project

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