By Erin Drenning
Design, Good works
High Schoolers Take
13 doesn't always bring bad luck.
how many years mechanical engineering professor Daniel Haines has been
instructing do-gooders at Manhattan College in the Bronx, and he has
seen nothing but good returns.
started teaching senior mechanical engineering design in 1989 and, as
part of the course, began requiring his students to construct group
projects that benefit people with disabilities. For the past 13 years,
Haines has witnessed the care and deliberation that his students put
into their projects for nursing homes and care centers in the surrounding
neighborhood. The class has created everything from a barbecue grill
adapted for use by people in wheelchairs to a board game that retrains
hand movements in patients who have lost their manual mobility.
16 class members break up into three or four smaller groups to design
and build a useful device for local institutions. The students maintain
contact with patients and staff for the duration of the project to be
sure that they understand and meet the needs of the project beneficiaries.
It is very rewarding, says Haines, and it gives everyone
a great sense of satisfaction when we see what the students have created.
Old Dominion Goes
model rockets, fly and make paper airplanes. But despite appearances,
it's not all fun and games.
and potential first-generation college students from eight high schools
in Florida's Volusia County and Arizona's Yavapai County are
studying math, science, aviation, and aeronautics at their local schools
through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Upward Bound programs.
To participate, students are required to commit their Saturdays and
six weeks each summer to the program from eighth grade through high
school. And the results of this hard work speak for themselves. Of students
who graduated from the program in the past five years, 73 percent have
gone on to college and an additional 9 percent are in the military.
program is part of the national Upward Bound initiative that started
in 1973. Upward Bound is a federally funded program that seeks to increase
the rates of college matriculation and success of participants in more
than 800 locations across the nation.
Upward Bound programs, Embry-Riddle provides free services, including
year-round counseling and advising, an intensive summer program, computer
training, and student-conducted scientific research under the guidance
of a mentor from the university faculty or graduate program. Embry-Riddle's
program is unique, as it is the only Upward Bound campus in the nation
to incorporate aeronautics into the science and mathoriented material.
Keeping Bacteria at
University has teamed up with eight schools in Europe to offer a twist
on the traditional master's of engineering degree. Students who
complete two semesters and a thesis at a participating college abroad
and finish at least one semester back in the States are eligible to
earn two degrees through the Global Engineering Master's Programone
from ODU and the other from a European institution of higher learning.
Pawlowski, one of the first international students enrolled in project
management at ODU last spring, intends to graduate from the University
of Applied Science in Kaiserslautern, Germany, this summer. I
am very happy that I was at ODU, she says. I hope I gave
friends and students from America some ideas and information about what
German people are doing, working on, and learning. And hopefully we
will learn the best from each other. Pawlowski completed her thesis
at Sweden's Dalarna University.
students from overseas are studying in Norfolk, Va., this semester,
according to program director Ralph Rogers. Unfortunately, none of ODU's
students have taken advantage of the opportunity to travel to any of
the network universities in Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands,
Poland, Sweden, or Switzerland. We are actively recruiting to
get U.S. students abroad, says Rogers. We just haven't
gotten anyone yet.
want to think twice about buying that hot dog.
years ago, an outbreak of listeriosis killed 21 Americans who had unknowingly
eaten hot dogs contaminated with a lethal food-borne pathogen. But thanks
to a rudimentary database detailing the genetic makeup of different
bacteria, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention was able to
identify the mysterious killer as Listeria monocytogenes and promptly
recalled the tainted food before it caused an even greater epidemic.
database, designed by Martin Wiedmann, an assistant professor of food
science at Cornell University, has since grown tremendously in size
and speed with the help of computer science and engineering students
at the New York school.
seemed to blossom overnight when Michael Chung, a computer science senior,
got involved. "He came to my office one day and told me that he'd
like to do lab work instead of sitting in front of a computer,"
says Wiedmann. "(Chung) was able to take this program and put it
on the Web so that data from anywhere in the world could be added."
With the input of students like Chung, PathogenTracker could help quell
future outbreaks by alerting researchers around the globe about disease-causing
bacteria that may have come from the same original source.
The Ghosts of Science
fiction is not always fiction, according to Tulane University biomedical
engineering professor Kay C. Dee.
able to make this argument to her upper level bioethics class thanks
to science fiction writers like Jules Verne, who described modern day
amenities like fax machines and subways in his 1863 novel, Paris
in the 20th Century. In her course, entitled Brave New World
after Aldous Huxley's namesake novel that tackles issues of genetic
engineering, students learn about past conjecture and the present potential
of biotechnology. Elizabeth Tritschler, a Tulane student completing
her joint B.A. and master's program in biomedical engineering this
spring, says that Dee's class is the best she has taken at Tulane.
Just by being there I could learn so muchand that's
not always true, Tritschler said. I never missed one class.
graduate Amanda Filanowski agreed. Everyone was pretty excited
to go in and do the work. Filanowski's team got the highest
grade in the class on her cloning protocol project after putting in
tons of hours, she says. But she didn't mind. The projects
were a nice change from the usual type of work.
Drenning is an associate editor at Prism magazine.
She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
All the Wrong Buttons
- A Certain Standard
- An Underutilized Option