Article Summaries

Male-Dominated STEM Disciplines: How Do We Make Them More Attractive to Women?

Chardie L. Baird

Summary

Why does the male-domination of engineering persist? And, why do some fields within engineering remain more male-dominated than others? In this article, the author discusses a few of the underlying assumptions that make up the masculinized culture that excludes women. She focuses her review on scholarship focusing on beliefs about women's competence, commitment, and leadership. The author illustrates how individuals enact masculinized cultures in their everyday interactions and practices as well as how underlying assumptions of masculinized cultures are embedded in policies and procedures. She discusses strategies for making changes to masculinized cultures and concludes by providing examples of policy changes that facilitate culture changes and equitable work outcomes.

This text is from introduction of the article.


Integrating the Engineering Design Process into K-12 Schools: The Kansas Experience

Jacqueline Spears

 

Summary

Engineering has not been a part of K-12 science education until relatively recently. Teachers have been free to include engineering design lessons as relevant to their content, lesson plans and modules have been developed, and the research base on the impact of engineering design on student engagement and learning in science classrooms has been growing. The inclusion of engineering design as a specific part of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) released in 2013, however, is a significant step forward. This paper briefly describes the history of U.S. science education as part of the K-12 curriculum, the way in which engineering is currently being integrated into the U.S. science curriculum, and ways in which electrical engineering faculty members can provide support to ongoing efforts.

 

This text is from the introduction of the article.
 

Instrumentation and Measurement in a First-Year Engineering Program

Janet K. Lumpp, Whitney C. Blackburn-Lynch, Doug L. Klein, Laura M. Letellier, Jennifer L. Lovely, Neil F. Moore, and Julie G. Whitney

Summary

This article describes a first year engineering experience that has been designed around multidisciplinary, creative and hands-on learning opportunities that allow for exploration and discovery of the different fields of engineering and computer science. Simultaneously, students gain experience and skill sets, both technical and academic, which will increase the probability that they will complete their degrees and be satisfied with their choice of majors. Sensors, electronics, and programming enable students to gain insights into the many different problems engineers and computer scientists face in our complex and rapidly changing world. Record retention of students as well as positive feedback for the program are indications that this process is meeting its goals.

This text is from the conclusion of the article. 


Discovering the Real World Hands-On in the Classroom

Lieven Philips

Summary

Many people would agree that most—if not all—young children as well are fascinated by the world that surrounds them. Yet, when they grow up, during their teenage years other interests might replace this excitement quite rapidly. So, how could we make sure that they do not lose this precious fascination? And, at which age should we focus our efforts in order to keep the sparks of wondering burning? And, how can we give them a more or less realistic idea about what it means to be a scientist, a programmer, or an engineer working on solutions for the challenges in our society? In this article, the author provides a summary of a particular Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) approach that has been developed and rolled out in schools in Belgium.

This text is from the introduction of the article. 


Igniting STEM in Kansas City

Erik Timpson

Summary

In this article, the author describes a community involvement program that allows corporate employees to volunteer with young people in local schools to increase interest in STEM areas.

The author describes what they do, how they do it (that is with what instruments), and how they measure success. He hopes to inspire readers to reach out to their local areas and start teaching and inspiring young people to pursue careers in instrumentation and measurement.  This specific program reached out to a local organization called PREP KC whose mission is to create and implement strategies to improve college and career preparation for Kansas City’s urban students. PREP KC was able to work with the schools and get the gymnasium full of students ready for a message.

This summary includes text from the introduction of the article.


Columns

 

Basic Metrology

Analog Computers

Richard Davis

Summary

The terms “analog” and “digital” as applied to computing both date from the 1940s. People were doing analog computations (e.g., using slide rules) well before there was a generic name for the devices they used. The generic names came with the advent of digital technology and analog-digital hybrids. Although analog computers have been mostly relegated to museums, new technologies may yet revive analog computing in many areas of study.

This summary was provided by the author.

Future Trends in Early Diagnosis for Cognition Impairments in Children Based on Eye Measurements 

Laura Florea

Summary

There is a saying that the eyes are the gate to one's soul and the witnesses for various internal cognitive or emotional processes. In this column, the author introduces several types of measurement tools involving eye measures and gaze tracking. She discusses how these measurements have begun to be used in early identification of autism spectrum disorder and dyslexia. Both applications show the need for affordable yet precise devices for eye area measurements and gaze tracking in order to enable computer vision applications research to help with early diagnosis support.

This text is from the body of the column.