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Change the Conversation: Engineering Awareness in K-12

When compared to other professions, such as medicine or civil service, engineering is largely misunderstood by the general public. Educational research shows that K–12 teachers and students generally have a poor understanding of what engineers do [1, 2], and it is most often believed that engineers "fix" or "construct" things like a car mechanic or construction worker. In addition, public…

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What is a Twitter Chat? Find Out on Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern

John Bennett recently blogged (here) about the now weekly #BigBeacon twitter chat, but we've gotten some inquiries about this, and many people don't know what a twitter chat is.  This post gives a little tutorial on twitter and twitter chatting and invites students, educators, engineers, and engineering employers to join in on Wednesday evenings at 8pm Eastern using hashtag #BigBeacon.…

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What engineering exams can’t teach you

When I speak with young engineers, as I often do in my work as founder of Engineer Your Life, I notice how focused many are on impressing their new employer and getting a good job.   I remember feeling that too. I also remember thinking that, when I entered the workforce, my success would depend on my ability to plug the…

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MOOCs, Moola, and Love: The 5 Smooches of MOOCs

MOOCs and Moola   There was an article in the New York Times about how massive open online courses are popular and not yet profitable (here).  To me this is reminiscent of the rush to place newspaper content online for free, which, later, many newspapers (including the NYT) regretted.  The Wall Street Journal was one of a very few who…

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Olin College Leadership Receives Gordon Prize, Engineering’s most prestigious award for education innovation

(We are excited to share this reprint from Olin College of Engineering’s three founding academic leaders, Richard Miller, David Kerns and Sherra Kerns, received one of engineering’s highest honors - the Bernard M. Gordon Prize. The $500,000 prize is awarded by the National Academy of Engineering to recognize innovation in engineering and technological education. “This team of educational innovators…

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Innovator’s Notebook: A New Approach to Unmanned Systems Engineering Education

Editor's note: This entry is a guest post from Dr (Col Ret) Jerry LeMieux, President, Unmanned Vehicle University, I had the privilege the other day of talking to Jerry about his vision, and I was struck by the number of innovations in scope, delivery, faculty, and approach of And stuff occassionaly very thinning greasy viagra side effects sure!…

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The Jackhammer Elegies: A Novel with an Engineering Hero

Editor's note: The following is an interview with Stefan Jaeger, author of The Jackhammer Elegies, and Managing Director, Member and Corporate Communications, ASCE.  To buy the book in paperback or kindle version, click here.  Without giving away important twists and turns, what is the basic plot outline of your book, The Jackhammer Elegies? The story centers around Scott Carter, a civil/structural engineer…

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Student-Centered versus Student-Led Education

It is increasingly commonplace to hear calls for student-centered education, but increasingly I’ve been thinking that the term doesn’t go far enough and have been using the term student-led learning instead.

First, a lot of language concerning education has teacher-centered bias built in. One example is the recommended shift from the sage on the stage, lecturing with 20-old course notes, to the guide on the side who practices active-learning, problem-based learning, experiential learning, or some other X learning in the classroom to the hoped benefit of the students. Indeed this shift is desirable, but the sage-guide shift still considers the instructor as the prime mover in the educational setting; the subject of both phrases, sage and guide, is the teacher. In this sense, education continues to be somthing that is done to or done for the student by the teacher.

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Silver Medal Universities and Unhappy Faculty

Medalists: Gold, Bronze & Silver

As the memory of the London

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Olympics fades into the rearview mirror, an interesting piece of psychological research gives us a clue to the origins of a certain kind of dysfunction in a number of universities. Researchers have noticed that among medalists in the Olympics, gold medalists and bronze medalists tend to be happy campers, living happy post-Olympic lives, and that silver medalists tend to be dissatisfied wondering what might have been.

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For Men Only: Stories from Our Fathers

I was watching the 1972 movie Young Winston with Robert Shaw, Anne Bancroft, and Simon Ward, and a number of the most powerful scenes were those when young Winston faced the criticism (and approval) of his father Lord Randolph Churchill, played by Robert Shaw.  Watching these scenes reminded me that when working with male clients, one key to progress is sometimes to listen to stories about the client’s relationship to his father.   Chapter 3, Live As If Your Father were Dead, in David Deida’s book The Way of the Superior Man succinctly captures why this is so:

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