Lauren, this bike idea seems a little over the top. The bicycle is already the most efficient form of transportation. If you need a boost, mosp people can just walk the bike until you get somewhere that is less of a problem. I do not recall doing that in decades. I use a thing called gears.
The gloves are interesting, though. they may be useful if biking. It would be interesting to have a fingerless cycling version.
I like the idea of the GoldieBlox. I've always been baffled by the small percentage of women in engineering. High school girls do well in physics, yet don't seem to make the transition to engineering, for reasons that I've never understood. Maybe ideas like this one will build interest at an earlier age.
Charles. I'm still baffled! My wife majored in mathematics in college because it was fun! Did she go on to grad school or get a job in industry? Nope. Her first job was as a letter carrier (postman). The post office had to clear out their other restroom to accomodate their first woman to ever work there!
She eventually put her knowledge of Cobal to good use when she went into computer programming also as a civil servant. When we moved away from Metropolis the IT jobs did not follow her to the boonies. She never did return to science, math or software engineering.
My daughter was never interested in the gadgetry in my home lab/office. Not enough social interaction. She did discover photography, one of my hobbies, and that has stuck with her. But she always tended towards Barbie dolls, lace and the color pink, to the chagrin of her liberated mom.
bdcast, there will always be young girls who are inclined toward Barbies and boys inclined toward sports or GI Joes, which is fine. But I've never been able to completely understand the disconnect between girls who are good physics and math, and yet bypass engineering. I think part of it is the idea that engineering is for people who grow up with great mechanical/electrical skills. But there are several areas of engineering (industrial and civil to name a couple) that are populated by people who don't necessarily have those skills. They happen to be good at math and science, not necessarily at mechanical stuff. I know a structural engineering professor at a major university who grew up with no mechanical skills and put his math smarts to use in finite element analysis. In addition be being a prof, he has a great consulting business.
Some of what defines a human being is nurture, but most of it is nature. Sure, the potential is there at birth and we can alter genetic predisposition, especially neurologically, as we do with "upbringing" and education. But I believe most of what you are is determined at the moment of conception.
Two of my nieces, slightly older than my daughter, went in opposite directions. One works overseas for the US State Department while the other is an environmental/civil engineer who likes to climb tall physically challenging mountains as a hobby.
Charles, I understand what you mean. I myself excelled at math. I was mechanically...ok. I wasn't great. I took some time off after college and became a machinist. I learned a lot. I now how have the best of both of those worlds. Oh I became a CAD drafter too. It all helps. They all play nicely together.
Where is the boy box? They don't get one? I think they all need pushed into the field.
To be honest. I do not have any kids. I can say I would be scared to have any semi young ones in this day. With all of the LOL and stuff, do they even know how to write correctly. Part of engineering is communication. I can't lol to my boss! My friends have kids and I see it. I fear for how they communicate in the future. Point is, there is more to engineering than just math.
Honestly. Almost all of the posts I read (excluding here) are misspelled and the grammar is horrible. If this is the future how will they communicate?
Don't quote me on this, but if you have seen the Dragon Naturally Speaking commercial......that kid says....I can't put word to paper, but with this I just talk to it and it does it for me......really...that kid needs help! not a program! Get him a tutor. That commercial sickens me. Ohh you're stupid, here, you don't have to know how to write!....no way!
I like the concept of toys that offer a chance at engineering type thinking, and these may do that well enough, it is always a guess as to which toys will be the big hot. Of course while a lot of engineering is built on the principles of physics, there is a lot more thanb physics to engineering. My guess is that a lot of women who may be interested decide to go some other direction when they see the lack of respect engineering gets, and all of the other things that engineers have to put up with. Maybe they go some other way because they spot these things sooner than us male engineers. I know for certain that if I were a doctor or a lawyer I would not have folks second guessing me so much, and assuming that my job must be really easy because I never comment about how hard it is. Quite likely the brilliant women spot this a bit sooner.
I like EBike's, but the interface on this one is a little too glitzy. It may be great for the people that can't put their phone in their pocket, but I don't want to download an App just to ride my EBike.
I converted a junk Target bicycle to an EBike a few years ago. Some of the folks at the office said that I was "cheating" by riding an EBike, but then again, I never saw any of those people use anything other than a car. With a simple pedal sensor the EBike gives you a little boost that takes the edge off of hills and strong winds so that you can commute any day that isn't raining and not have to change your clothes when you get to the office. I used the machine extensively and kept track of the miles to see when I reached my Return On Investment. Yes the ROI was longer than a year, but the gadget did pay for itself and the commute was certainly more pleasant through the rural bike paths.
So, I really like EBike's, but having to load my phone into the handlebars and download an App to make it go seems just a little bombastic.
I find it difficult to imagine that a system can charge the batteries with enough energy to deliver useful power without being quite a burden the rest of the time. As I look at the photo I find that it certainly does not give much clue about how the system is able to deliver much torque. While using a smart phone application to unlock a bike does sound useful, that also sounds like a way to be stranded if the phone battery, or the phone, dies. And the amount of actual "lock" that it can deliver is probably limited to the rear wheel.
Bikes typically have a minimum of ten gear ratios which are adequate for most urban riding, except for climbing stairs. So really, except for long rides, a small battery assist package does not appear to deliver benefit equal to the cost.
Of course, for most of the last few years I rode a few miles every day, which probably affects my opinion of when some assistance is needed.
What is educational is that most of the engineering type job postings that I have seen in the past ten years specify "excellent communications skills", which is a hint that not only are they important, but that they are quite important. I have lamented in quite a few postings in the past that the modern word processing systems and packages will help any fool to produce a reasonably intelligent looking document. We have lost one quick way of sorting out the junk. The unintended consequences of an invention that was intended to benefit all are with us again.
While my style of writing may not please everybody, the large number of technical documents have been praised by those who need to use them.
I clicked the link for The Copenhagen Wheel, because the article referred to it as the "wireless" wheel which confused me. The wireless descriptor means simply that it has a transceiver to link to your smartphone where you download an App and adjust the wheel's torque and power setting based on terrain.
This device is a very sophisticated, MIT developed, electromechanical engine, which works as a 'drop-in' replacement of your existing bike Rear wheel. Pretty ingenious, in its construction, efficiency, and retrofitability. At $800 its targeted at European commuters, over expensive gasoline for daily use. https://www.superpedestrian.com/ is currently accepting Pre-Orders.
Second to that, it's not alone in its niche marketplace. The Electron Wheel also uses a motor concealed in the Front Wheel, which drops into most 26" bikes in only 30 seconds. Entirely battery powered, it uses sensors to determine how much boost is given to the rider, based on grade & terrain. http://www.electronwheel.com/ is priced at $999 and is available now.
CADMAN-LT. I am always appalled at how elementary writing and communication skills are for recent graduates. Many of the engineers coming from reputable accreted schools can't put together a sentence, much less a report that makes sense. When I worked for a Fortune 500 company, we had a very active co-op program. I was one of the engineers chosen to "mentor" these young engineers. That meant reviewing their reports. You would not believe how frequently I had to re-write their documents. There were several engineers, with English as their primary language, that could not construct a simple sentence. I have no idea as to what they are teaching these kids now days. Their technical skills were very sharp but communication really needed work. Very embarrassing.
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