Jason Kems

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Jun 092011

STEM and ASHRAE K-12 Visits

This year I am making a push to get more ASHRAE members into K-12 classrooms.  Having a well educated and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workforce is critical to the economic security and prosperity of the United States and more specifically our industry.  Having a solid STEM education will also provide our children with a strong foundation that gives them many more opportunities throughout their lives.


Will you take the challenge and help encourage the next generation of engineers?

What I am asking you to do?

I would like to see EVERY member who has a child in K-12 schedule a classroom visit over the next year.

Where can you get help?

There is a lot of information and ideas concerning K-12 visits on the Studentzone section of the ASHRAE website.  Go to http://www.ashrae.org/studentzone/k-12-activities for more information or  contact me via email at  PriceAndrew@nullStanleyGroup.com

What is the payoff for your chapter?

Region VI K-12 visit competition:  I am establishing a new traveling trophy as part of a friendly competition between chapters.  The chapter who reports the most K-12 visits will be awarded a K-12 traveling trophy at next year’s CRC in Minneapolis, MN.  Please schedule your visits because we don’t want the Iowa chapter to win this trophy too!

So, contact your children’s teachers, schedule your K-12 visits, practice your presentation, have fun in the classroom, go back to work energized, report your visit to your Chapter’s Student Activities Chair, and report chapter totals on a quarterly basis.

Thank you,

Andy Price

P.S.  If you want to know why I enjoy making K-12 visits, read the reprint of the article from the April 2011 ASHRAE Insights below.

Kids’ Wit Challenges Engineer

While promoting ASHRAE’s K-12 resources, Andrew Price, of the Mississippi Valley Chapter, found out first hand that kids really do say the darnedest things.

On a recent visit to a second grade class at Mulberry Elementary School in Muscatine, Iowa, students demonstrated a voracious appetite for answers, though their questions were not necessarily engineering-related.

“Do you know ‘Brent’?” one student asked.

“I know lots of Brents,” Price said.

“Awesome,” was the only response.

Price tries to visit classrooms two to three times a year, and he strongly encourages members with grade-school children to contact their teachers through email to schedule similar visits.  He became interested in working with students when his wife and he judged a school science fair.

“If we don’t introduce science, technology, engineering and math early to school children in the United States, we won’t have the next generation of engineers,” Price said.  “I guess I just feel it is part of my job as an engineer to find people who are qualified to eventually replace me.”

On the same visit, while working on an experiment to propel “rockets,” which consisted of balloons taped to a straw strung on fishing wire, some of the student’s questions touched on the, shall we say, darker reality of life.

“If the rocket broke while you were on the moon, would you die?”

“I’m sure NASA would send another rocket to try and save you,” Price assured the student.

“If the second rocket also broke, would you die?”

“Yes,” Price replied truthfully.

Price claims the energy and excitement of the students is what brings him back to the classroom time and time again.

“Whether we are discussing the scientific method, or how engineers solve problems or going off on tangents that I never imagined – ‘If you were in a black hole would you die?’ – I have a great time,” Price said.  “I leave the visit ‘recharged’ and go back to work enjoying the wonder of what we do in engineering.”

To find out more about how you can become involved in classroom visits, and help to encourage an interest in engineering in young students, visit www.ashrae.org/ashraek12.

ASHRAE and e-week

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Feb 082011

Engineers Week 2011 will be celebrated February 20 – 26. Co-chairs are Raytheon Company and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Feel free to forward this letter or contents to other interested parties.

1. Sid the Science Kid Webinar
2. Girl Day Gets Energized
3. New Video for EWeek
4. Apply Now! 2012 USA Science & Engineering Festival Opens Registration
5. See the Engineered USA
6. Local Events

1. Sid the Science Kid Webinar
There’s still time to register for the February 9 webinar introducing Sid the Science Kid. This is the first year Sid will be participating in EWEEK and we’ve got lots of exciting resources to share to make your EWEEK events “Super Duper Ooper Schmooper” fun for families with young children! Please register for the webinar using the Google form. We will email log-in information and system requirements for the webinar upon registration. The webinar is Wednesday, February 9, at 3 p.m. Eastern time.

To register, click here

2. Girl Day Gets Energized

On February 24, 2011, middle school girls in Argonne, Illinois, will meet with women engineers to work together on hands-on projects as part of Argonne National Laboratory’s “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day”. Read more from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Council on women and Girls.

3. New Video To Be Distributed For National Engineers Week And Beyond

INNOVATE: FUELING CHANGE is a fast-paced ten-minute video introducing teenagers and pre-teens to exciting careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The video follows a group of diverse high school students as they explore alternative energy resources by converting French-fry grease into bio-fuel. The students also visit a group of engineers that were members of the 2009 Penn State Solar Decathlon team, builders of a solar home

The video will be distributed by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation to over 4,000 Project Lead the Way Classrooms and after school programs across the country for National Engineers Week and beyond. See the video here. Click here for more information.

4. 2012 USA Science & Engineering Festival Opens Registration

Nationwide contests and school programs throughout 2011 will culminate with a Finale Expo in the Spring of 2012 in Washington, DC. Exact dates and locations are still being determined, but you are invited to join in the nation’s largest celebration of science NOW by applying to host an exhibit or perform at the next Finale Expo!

Certain enhancements are being made to further improve the 2nd Finale Expo, including holding the Expo in the Spring (instead of the Fall like last year) to increase school participation and to encourage attendance by tourists visiting the area. The Expo will also expand from 2 to 3 days to include a “Sneak Peek Friday,” allowing students from under-served schools and U.S. Government representatives from the House, Senate, White House and government agencies to visit the event in advance.

In addition, the entire Expo will be held in one contiguous venue in Washington, DC to further enhance logistics and accessibility to all activities.

Apply to host an exhibit or to perform by contacting Laura Raymond

5. See the USA the engineeringsights.org Way

Remember to send your recommendations for additions to www.engineeringsights.org to pr@nullnspe.org, 703-684-2891, or fill out this form and email it to us.

6. Local Events

Share news of your local events on the EWEEK forum, recently updated. Is there a family-friendly, hands-on engineering activity in your area? Add it to mydiscover-e.org, the go-to place for engineering outreach.

Sacramento, California
Engineers Day in NE Sacramento invites the public to a day of FREE hands-on activities. Fun for all ages, on Saturday, February 26, 2011, 10 AM to 7 PM, inside Sunrise Mall (near Macy’s Mens), 6041 Sunrise Blvd, Citrus Heights, CA.

Silverdale, Washington
The Lockheed Martin women at their Silverdale facility will present a hands-on exhibit in a local career day event called Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) on March 19, 2011.

Danville, Virginia
The Danville Science Center plans a general public program for Saturday, February 26 in honor of Engineers Week, with challenge stations to create and design “solutions.” Also featured is a backdrop of a traveling exhibit on engineering, Tech City. Future plans include programs for GIS Day and Nano Days to spotlight other subsets of science and engineering. http://dsc.smv.org

Little Silver, New Jersey
Red Bank Regional High School plans its annual technology competitions during National Engineers Week, with local engineers as judges. khawley@nullrbrhs.org

Boston, Massachusetts
Nitsch Engineering is starting to make plans for their annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. This year’s theme is robotic engineering.
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The National Engineers Week Foundation coalition comprises more than 75 engineering, professional, and technical societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. The coalition is dedicated to sustaining and growing a dynamic engineering profession by ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce, increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students, and promoting pre-college literacy in math and science. Among the oldest of America’s professional outreach efforts, the coalition also raises public understanding and appreciation of engineering contributions to society through year-round innovative programming and celebration.