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Engineer Solves Glass Slipper Dilemma
10/19/2012

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Beth Stackpole
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Fostering young girls' interest in STEM
Beth Stackpole   10/19/2012 7:26:59 AM
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Fun example and certainly one that could and should be used to encourage interest in STEM among girls. While the math may play out, I like your mom's version that the slippers were magic. Afterall, some fairy tales are better left to just that--fairy tales.

mrdon
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Re: Fostering young girls' interest in STEM
mrdon   10/19/2012 9:43:12 AM
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Beth, I agree. Its cool to use engineering to solve old and new problems. Its also important to maintain a creative mindset through imagination foster by fairytales.  Also, the problem illustrates that not only men are good engineers but women as well. This problem should be presented to the Myth Busters to validate the math behind the solution.

gsmith120
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Re: Fostering young girls' interest in STEM
gsmith120   10/19/2012 5:00:27 PM
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It is a fun example. I guess this kind of example can interest someone or bore them to tears. Personally, I like it.

tekochip
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Re: Fostering young girls' interest in STEM
tekochip   10/21/2012 11:00:09 AM
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True, a fun exercise. I remember reading an engineering paper on what sort of damage King Kong really would have caused if be attempted to scale a building and then fall to the street below.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Fostering young girls' interest in STEM
Beth Stackpole   10/22/2012 7:07:00 AM
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Your point about the King Kong example got me thinking that using these well indoctrinated, childhood stories as a basis to explore engineering concepts and mathematical theories could actually be a solid way to introduce kids, boys and girls, to what's possible in an engineering career. I'm not sure they'd hold ground for those who've moved beyond the introductory stage, but by exposure, they could definitely spark initial interest in the field, especially for kids who might be bored or not fully become engaged with traditional examples.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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About other Fairy Tales ,,,
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/22/2012 1:19:17 PM
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There is one Fairy-Tale that I have referenced in the engineering work-place quite often, being "The Emperor's New Clothes".  Remember the story of a unbelievable fabrication of events that only the most royal and eloquent could possibly understand?   How many times have I challenged the Program Manager's Schedule, using the line of the little boy in the fairy tale:  "I Can't See 'em-!!"

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Fostering young girls' interest in STEM
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/22/2012 1:11:08 PM
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Funny that I never questioned the Glass Slipper actually "holding up".  However, I wrestled with the fact that only one girl's foot in the entire Kingdom would fit.

RW-in-DC
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Iron
Glass Qualities Re: Fostering young girls' interest in STEM
RW-in-DC   10/22/2012 5:36:07 PM
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I agree that it might foster interest in STEM.  However, it might also foster a conversation about translation as the Fur/Glass slipper dichotomy has been known for years (French/English). 

tekochip
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What kind of glass?
tekochip   10/19/2012 9:53:18 AM
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Maybe it was even quartz?

CliffG
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Re: What kind of glass?
CliffG   10/22/2012 5:05:52 PM
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Perhaps the fairy godmother used a future product, since she obviously could time travel in this kind of story: Gorilla Galss would be well suited for this application. http://www.corninggorillaglass.com/sites/all/files/GG2%20PI%20Sheet%20Rev%20b_050912.pdf 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: What kind of glass?
Ann R. Thryft   10/25/2012 1:25:53 PM
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I had a similar reaction, perhaps helped by the fact that I grew up with Cinderella clear plastic "slippers" for little girls, which were actually pumps with sort-of-high heels on them, as shown in the illustration to this article. That also makes me wonder about the assumption that these shoes have high heels on them. Perhaps the word "slipper" in the fairy tale means flat shoes, as it does today? They'd be a lot easier to dance in, especially if made of glass. Perhaps the enigineer should recalculate based on that assumption.

Tim
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Flying Carpet
Tim   10/21/2012 9:35:58 PM
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I always wondered if the flying carpet from the Alladin stories was feasible.  This seems like something that could be produced.  Not sure though.

mr17062009
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Iron
Alternate explanation
mr17062009   10/22/2012 9:58:23 AM
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'Vair' versus 'verre'.

'Vair' is a leather fabricated from squirrel skin, very fine and thin leather.

'Verre' is glass evidently not easy to wear.

Translation might be the problem.

Critic
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Fiction
Critic   10/22/2012 10:42:44 AM
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My concern about glass slippers (since I knew I would never wear them) was that they would be uncomfortable because they are not flexible.  Obviously Cindarella had to be careful how she walked.  I'd like to see the analysis of Cindarella turning into a pumpkin! 

The most puzzling part of the story for me is the "lived happily ever after" part.  Will there be a sequel?

Eddy Current
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Iron
Spinning Straw Into Gold
Eddy Current   10/22/2012 12:49:06 PM
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The bonus would be erasing the national debt and the elimination of taxes (as long as we keep the secret to ourselves).

bobjengr
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Platinum
GLASS SLIPPER
bobjengr   10/30/2012 5:17:05 PM
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I'm having flash backs.  This is the type of problem my mechanics teacher (Dr. W.K. Stare) would give us on a pop quiz.  He loved to pull these things out of someone's hat and see our faces when we would silently begin to scream.  He was an absolute tyrant when you did not state your assumptions FIRST.  Then DISPLAY your work in a complete and readable fashion.  I can hear him now.  My first pop quiz was returned with so much red ink I thought he bled on it.  Actually, I learned a great deal from Dr. Stare and there came a time when the class was eager to see what torture awaited with the next one.   Very interesting post. 

 

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