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March 8, 2011 

Women of Engineering 

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"I worshiped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong." -- Vita Sackville-West 

It's hard to imagine today's legions of female engineers and scientists harboring such doubts. Gender gaps still exist, a new White House report reveals. But as our Women's History Month trailblazers attest, even the sky's no limit. Your aspiring rocket scientists will find much to admire in (clockwise from top left) Grace Hopper, Catherine Mohr, Regina Dugan, Regina Clewlow, Anna-Maria McGowan, and Yoky Matsuoka. Even Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman has serious science chops as an Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist! Kevlar discoverer Stephanie Kwolek is the inspiration for this week's activity. See what your "material girls" make of Funny Putty.


Lesson: Funny Putty, Serious Science



From the "miracle fiber" Kevlar invented by Dupont chemist Stephanie Kwolek to Silly Putty, a by-product of synthetic rubber research, our world abounds with materials discovered by accident. In this activity from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), students will learn some serious materials science, and hit several national learning standards, by using everyday items to create and investigate the properties of Funny Putty. 

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Feature: Amazing Grace

grace for newsletterShe was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in math from Yale, pioneered computer programming languages, discovered the first computer "bug," and retired as the Navy's highest ranking, longest-serving female officer in history. They even named a destroyer after her. Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper laid the foundation for the Information Age and helped forge a path for generations of women pursuing STEM careers.   
K-12 News: Full STEM Ahead 

Navy ShipThe U.S. Navy now spends $60 million a year on STEM education, but wants to double that amount over five years, focusing on elementary and middle school students, college freshmen and sophomores. Officials are eager to learn of high-quality programs for minority and low-income populations. They stress the need for proven results.



To follow the Elementary and Secondary Education Act's overhaul, visit ESEA Watch.

Coming in June: ASEE's K-12 Teachers' Workshop


k12workshopSaturday, June 25, 2011 in  Vancouver, B.C., Canada. This day-long program for teachers and engineering educators from Canada and the United States offers a fast-paced and exciting overview of engineering education resources for the classroom. You'll discover valuable best practices, new contacts for collaboration, and the latest take-away tools for effective teaching about engineering education. Count on a full, fun and motivating day!


Learn more


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Our Facebook page for teachers is a great way to learn about contests, web resources, K-12 education news and lesson plans. It also offers a great way to interact with other STEM teachers across the nation--and around the world. Whether you're looking for a cool activity to engage your students or wrestling with rubrics, our Facebook community can help.   


So, become a fan now! 


About the eGFI Teachers' Newsletter


Delivered each week to your email inbox, our newsletter is packed with lesson plans and activities, resources, feature stories, and the latest developments in K-12 engineering education. eGFI is part of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), a non-profit organization committed to enhancing efforts to improve STEM and engineering education.

American Society for Engineering Education
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