The FIRST competition, designed to get high school students interested in science and technology, continues to expand. Founded in 1992, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology gives students six weeks to design, build, program and test robots that match up in regional contests and culminate with an international championship meet in Atlanta, GA, April 16-18. More than 42,000 students from 10 countries received parts' kits with 604 items. This year, that includes MPC5200 Power microprocessors from Freescale Semiconductor. The contest rewards both good designs and collaboration. The latter includes working with competing teams, as well as with team members.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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.