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Engineers will be called upon to find solutions for the challenges the world will face in the 21st century. These articles highlight the diversity of the work which continues in the search for those solutions.

Developing New and Innovative Spacecraft Is High-School Students Challenge In CubeSat Competition
December 2015

Cornell University, The Museum of Science Fiction and NASA Space Grant consortia grantees are hosting a competition for high-school students to get CubeSat projects they develop launched into space.

CubeSats are small spacecraft that use commercially available space technologies and simple logistics for launch and operation. Challenging students to create the most compelling research design proposals within a CubeSat’s limitations, the goal of the competition is to both infuse agile and innovative ideas into the space sector, and to get more students inspired to tinker with the technologies that democratize access to space.

Eight prizes will be awarded and the winners will have their mission design proposal funded and built, and will have the opportunity to apply to NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative for a launch. The winning teams will be those that best propose how to transform an idea from science fiction into science fact. Each will then be partnered with a university, which will create the technologies to make these advanced concepts real. Data collected from the missions will be shared with participating schools and other research organizations for analysis. Winners will be awarded at Escape Velocity event in Washington, D.C., next year.

“The core of the Museum of Science Fiction’s mission is education, particularly in the STEM fields,” said Mason Peck, member of the Museum of Science Fiction’s Board of Advisors, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell, and the Director of Cornell’s Space Systems Design Studio. “Advances in low-cost, high-performance consumer electronics and the rise of Do-It-Yourself technologies bring launching a spacecraft within reach of all of us. With this new opportunity in mind, we propose a competition in which high school students compete to offer the most compelling concept for a new CubeSat, to be implemented, built, and launched by the Museum and its partners.”

The competition was announced recently during White House Astronomy Night along with a number of other private-sector commitments as part of President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign designed to inspire and prepare more girls and boys – especially those from groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – to excel in the STEM fields.

The competition registration and submission period will be open until January 31, 2016.

More information is available at:

Article reprinted from materials provided by Cornell University. ##

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Developing New and Innovative Spacecraft Is High-School Students Challenge In CubeSat Competition
December 2015

Cornell University, The Museum of Science Fiction and NASA Space Grant consortia grantees are hosting a competition for high-school students to get CubeSat projects they develop launched into space.

Light-Producing Ability Of Shrimp Key To 'Biological Flashlight'
November 2015

Using the natural light-producing ability of deep-sea shrimp, a University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher and a team of scientists developed a new imaging tool to help cancer researchers better track tumor development and treatment responses.

Long-Term Behavior Of Bridge Girders Focus Of Aging Infrastructure Research
October 2015

When looking at a typical prestressed concrete bridge girder, there may not be any visually noticeable deflections from traffic or any other loading, but this does not tell the entire story.

Inspiring Sandcastles
September 2015

If you want to form very flexible chains of nanoparticles in liquid in order to build tiny robots with flexible joints or make magnetically self-healing gels, you need to revert to childhood and think about sandcastles.

Researchers Create Conductive, Transparent and Stretchable Materials
August 2015

Researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State) have created stretchable, transparent conductors that work because of the structures’ “nano-accordion” design.

Green Component Could Improve Asphalt and Sealant Mixtures
July 2015

Construction crews may someday use a plant molecule called lignin in their asphalt and sealant mixtures to help roads and roofs hold up better under various weather conditions.

Landmark DOE Hydropower Report Issued
June 2015

For the first time, industry and policymakers have a comprehensive report detailing the U.S. hydropower fleet’s 2,198 plants that provide about 7 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Exoskeleton Increases Walking Efficiency
May 2015

It’s taken millions of years for humans to perfect the art of walking.

Model System Allows Glimpses of Atomic Phase Transitions
April 2015

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that we can’t know both the position and velocity of the smallest particles at the same time, making it impossible to track an electron’s trajectory.

Unique Aerodynamic Forces Enable Hummingbird’s Aerobatic Feats
March 2015

The sight of a tiny hummingbird hovering in front of a flower and then darting to another with lightning speed amazes and delights. But it also leaves watchers with a persistent question: How do they do it?

DiscoverE 2015 Engineers Week
February 2015

Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Engineers Week is among the oldest of America’s professional outreach efforts.

Impact of Power Prosthetic Failures on Amputees Studied
January 2015

Powered lower limb prosthetics hold promise for improving the mobility of amputees, but errors in the technology may also cause some users to stumble or fall.

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