I am a Big Beacon Ambassador

When in high school, I remember deciding one of my life goals was to become a U.S. Ambassador. I’d never met one, but I liked the idea of representing something I was proud of in a foreign environment. Here I am, 30, and certainly not on a path to becoming an Ambassador to my country, but I have found myself to be an Ambassador to…

“I made it in engineering without help. They will too.” There is a problem, and They do need help!

“I made it in engineering without help. If these young women are meant to be engineers, they will too,” explained a female High School Engineering teacher. I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard this woman utter these words after I asked how she recruited and retained young women into her classes. ¬†Assuming she ignored the shock and horror on my face, she…

STEM vs. the Arts?

STEM, STEAM, STREAM…. SCREAM?!

Is it STEM or STEAM? Why not STREAM? This battle of acronyms makes me want to SCREAM! I am not sure how long the acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) has been around, but the new buzzword is STEAM (sprinkle in the Arts), and it seems to be gaining steam in popularity. Why not call it STREAM, add a dash of reading in the…

A Case for Engineering in K-12

A Case for Engineering in K-12

In order to meet the forecasted demands for U.S. Labor in technical areas that require scientific and mathematical training, it is imperative that educators and students begin to understand STEM professions and the role of engineers. By advocating science and math in a more holistic, inclusive and social context, more students will develop confidence in these subjects and be prepared to pursue a career in engineering. This article is useful for parents, educators, counselors, and administrators.

Design is Creativity Unleashed

What is Design? Design is Creativity Unleashed

Can you teach creativity in design? YES! By providing opportunity for students to learn to construct their own problems and to become comfortable with ambiguity all within an environment that fosters independent resourcefulness, a student can develop creativity. If we want to educate engineers to be expert designers, it is best to start this process early so that it becomes an adaptive expertise.

Green Roof MEA

Model Eliciting Activity: Green Roof

This is a model eliciting activity for high school students who have had algebra, examining rooftop gardens for commercial buildings. Model-eliciting activities (MEAs) are activities that encourage students to invent and test models. They are posed as open-ended problems that are designed to challenge students to build models in order to solve complex, real-world problems.

Big Beacon Movement

Leadership Comes Full Circle

Being a leader means many things, but one of the most important qualities is that someone actually follows your lead. Here I was talking to the man that inspired my mission to share my work and contribute to something greater than myself. He challenged me to share, and that is exactly what drew him to my website this week. I was blown away at how small the world had just become, and how one man’s mission to lead had come full circle…

Key NAE reports

Key Engineering Education Reports

Here are eight key reports from The National Academies Press by The National Academy of Engineering¬†related to engineering education. These reports guide future research and inform policy. Each of these can be read in full online, or you can simply view the executive summaries for a brief overview. Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering¬†(2008) Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status…