Web Sightings - Business Benevolence

Corporate Web sites offer a variety of free resources for engineering educators and students.

By Vicky Hendley

Many engineering-related corporations' Web sites include free software, research updates, curriculum guides, and other educational tools. But be warned: You may have to wade through promotional material to get to the good stuff


Hewlett-Packard Test &
Management Educator's Corner

.This site, which recently won NewMedia Magazine's Continuing Education Gold Award, is dedicated to "sharing Hewlett-Packard's resources with engineering educators," and offers laboratory experiments, teacher tools, lab equipment, and campus news; as well as information on grants and discounts, Hewlett-Packard's education partnerships, and jobs and internships available with the company.Hp

Perhaps most valuable to busy educators are the Experiments and Teaching Tools sections. Experiments includes prewritten lab exercises, downloadable interactive experiments in electronics fundamentals, and spectral simulations. The experiments, all submitted by engineering educators, are appropriate for most undergraduate-level students. Teaching Tools includes speaker notes and slide presentations viewable online or downloadable for later use.

Many of the site's tools are also available on a free CD-ROM, which can be ordered via the site.


Intel in Education

Intel's site includes resources for K-12 and college educators, as well as lots of basic information on computers in general, and Intel chips specifically.

IntelA particularly useful tool for elementary and middle school educators is The Journey Inside: The Computer, a free classroom kit that can be ordered through the site.

College educators may want to steer their students to the site's grants, scholarships, and fellowships section; for themselves, there is a link to Intel's University Research Programs site for news about available funding opportunities. Also worth reviewing is The Intel Technology Journal, an online research and development journal featuring Intel's latest hardware and software research.


Slinky Scientific Shindig
(Phillips Petroleum Company)

This site is an excellent resource for educators trying to interest elementary school children in engineering, science, and technology. Originally established as part of Phillips Petroleum Company's sponsorship of National Engineers Week 1998, the site is still up to date and works well on its own merits.

Sections include Engineers, a short explanation of what engineers do; Great Engineering Feats, a series of short articles on projects such as the English Channel Tunnel and the Eiffel Tower; Serendipity, Science, & Discoveries, several profiles of things discovered by accident, such as penicillin and Velcro; and How Are Plastics Made?, an overview of plastic manufacturing. Each section also includes links to suggested classroom activities, most performed using a Slinky, that demonstrate concepts such as inertia, gravity, potential energy, kinetic energy, longitudinal waves, and centrifugal force.

The site also has some interesting Slinky trivia that children might enjoy, such as the fact that the amount of wire used to make Slinkys since 1943 could wrap around the Earth 126 times.

The site's text is concise, engaging, and written at a level that elementary school students should have no trouble understanding


Microsoft in Education

This site gives educators tips on making the most of Microsoft's myriad educational software products. From the opening page, select either the K-12 or the Higher Education link, then explore case studies, activity guides, and, of course, learn all about the latest Microsoft products.

The site links to the Academic Cooperative (, a Microsoft-sponsored site at Idaho State University that features downloadable product demos and syllabi for engineering, computer, and science courses. Again, the company line is impossible to miss, but the information is still useful.

Both sites include a number of articles about schools successfully using Microsoft products; the main Microsoft site also includes extensive information on online learning programs.

Macintosh users should note that, predictably, the site is overwhelmingly Microsoft partisan, so don't bother with it unless you're interested in the online tutorial "Moving from Mac to Windows."


Apple Computer

Apple still holds its own in the K-12 educational software market, and its Web site includes curriculum guides, suggested lessons, and other education resources on a variety of subjects. Most of the material can be used in either a Macintosh or Windows environment. Higher education resources, however, are limited to product and purchasing information.

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