Summer Tour de Force 2: On a Roll

Heard of Maker Faire, a California rite of spring for hackers, inventors, and do-it-yourself creators? A group of engineering and design students, mostly from Stanford, has picked up the idea and taken it on the road. After raising $300,000 to outfit a panel truck with rapid-prototyping tools, including two 3-D printers, a laser cutter, sewing machines, and a clay oven, the students have spent the summer driving their “educational build-mobile” across the country to spread the fun of hands-on learning and show kids how “to find their inner maker.” Aboard the SparkTruck, they park at schools, libraries, and children’s museums to demonstrate what a child’s natural urge to build a tree house, say, can produce with high-tech equipment. Read more here and here and follow the journey on their website.

Shell Eco-Marathon Competition

Shell Eco-marathon is a global challenge that motivates students to drive farther than their peers on one gallon of fuel. Student teams participate in one or both of the Prototype and UrbanConcept classes. The Prototype class invites student teams to enter futuristic streamlined vehicles focused on maximizing fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, such as drag reduction. The UrbanConcept class focuses on more roadworthy fuel-efficient vehicles. Available to students from high school and above. More than 1,000 students from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, along with their 112 vehicles, competed in the recent 2012 challenge in the Americas.  Shell awarded $44,000 in prizes to the winning teams, in addition to the travel stipends that were offered to each participating team.

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Paris Bridge Design Contest

ArchTriumph has launched an international ideas competition that challenges participants to design a new contemporary bridge for the River Seine in Paris. The proposed design concept should be bold and elegant, and differentiate itself from the existing 37 bridges in Paris. Architects, architecture graduates, architecture students, teams, and inter-disciplinary teams (engineers, designers in-conjunction with an architect) are encouraged to enter. One entrant, or team, will receive a total prize fund of $12,000 USD for their winning design.

Summer Tour de Force 1: Aiding Liberia’s Recovery

Brian Wybrecht with the EHELD students holding their eGFI magazines donated by ASEE

Fourteen years of civil war has ravaged Liberia and left it in economic ruin and without a stable infrastructure; nothing was spared from the terrors of war. After the war ended in 2003, USAID began working to help Liberia recover and reach its development goals. Through the EHELD Project (Excellence in Higher Education for Liberian Development), USAID is helping Liberia improve its education, one of the institutions that was devastated by war.

Special Feature article by Brian Wybrecht

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Undergrads Compete in Biomedical Engineering Contest

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced the winners in the three categories of the DEBUT Challenge, a biomedical engineering design competition for teams of undergraduate students. The three categories addressed the critical needs in biomedical technology, focusing on devices for diagnostics and therapeutics as well as technology that can aid underserved populations and individuals with disabilities.

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