Called the "Queen of Carts," a new, safer shopping cart has won the ninth annual National Engineering Design Challenge. JETS--the Junior Engineering Technical Society--sponsors the high school competition. JETS this year asked students nationwide to design and build a shopping cart that would not tip over and injure young children. Winning the finals held at George Washington University (Washington, DC) was a team from West Perry High School (Elliottsburg, PA). The team's invention, a six-wheel cart made of steel with nylon webbing around the sides, includes a nylon child seat in the front. The Queen of Carts' two center wheels serve as stabilizing wheels and the pivot point. Thus, the cart can turn from either front or back around the center pivot wheels. The new design turns 360 degrees in its own length, while the standard cart, with pivot point in the back and turning wheels in the front, takes twice the cart's length to circle.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.