ASEE Prism Magazine  - November 2002
The ABCs of Engineering
All Things Great and Small
Hard Act to Follow
On Politics
Teaching Toolbox
ASEE Today
Last Word
Back Issues

Frank HubandLast year, the American Society for Engineering Education launched the ASEE Engineering K-12 Center with the objective of making the most effective engineering education resources available to the K-12 community. The Center focuses primarily on the creation of self-assessment tools for education outreach programs in operation at ASEE member institutions. K-12 teachers, students, and parents—and engineering faculty members running K-12 programs—can tap into a broad range of resources, including a searchable online database of outreach programs. The Center's ultimate goal is to better prepare students for careers in engineering.

This month's Prism cover story, "The ABCs of Engineering," looks at three different models for introducing engineering into the K-12 curriculum. The state of Massachusetts has taken a mandatory approach by requiring engineering instruction in every grade of its public schools. In Texas, Southern Methodist University has developed a more entrepreneurial model. Called the Infinity Project, it provides schools with a self-contained engineering curriculum package. Infinity is set to go national with a franchise and license system. The University of Colorado at Boulder has instituted a hub-and-spoke approach that offers professional development courses and partnerships with teachers from schools in the surrounding area.

Nanotechnology is one of the hottest buzzwords in research today with many researchers—and those authorizing federal funding—believing that it will soon create major scientific and technological breakthroughs. "All Things Great and Small" is a portrait of a University of Toronto engineering professor who turned the study of this emerging field into an undergraduate major.

The new Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is being hailed as a masterpiece, and the engineers and its Japanese architect who worked together to create the building are earning particular praise for their innovative use of concrete. "A Museum of Substance" describes the beauty of the museum, which has 40-foot ceilings that appear to soar with little or no support over large rooms with walls that shimmer with warmth. The Texan engineers took an age-old building material—concrete—and blending art and science, created a building that is a work of art.

I hope you find these stories as varied and interesting as I have, and as always, I would welcome hearing your views.


Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher