I agree that dual fuel is the best solution right now, but in the long run, electric might make more sense. Propane will continue to go up with oil prices, and liquid natural gas is still going to be more difficult to refill and has pollution problems of its own.
We have been through a period of "The New Math" which has destroyed maybe 3 generations of students.
I recently wrote a letter to the editors of Free Press that I am getting disgusted by Engineers complaining about the education system without offering any solutions.
It seemed to me that it was getting unconscionable talking just in generalities and not in specifics.
You can't design anything just talking in generalities.
I recently helped ALSoftware in designing a Logo, assisting in the Website, suggesting, then starting a Minimanual and in designing many skins for the magnificent emulator of the HP41CX that Steve Wozniack may well have worked on some 32 years ago. It remains the finest calculator ever and it wiped out the slide rule and was providing accuracy to a higher degree than some mainframes.
The i41CX+ is beyond that masterpiece, and it will only be found in the iOS environment. Some have said that it is the main reason to have an iPhone.
It should be used extensively in the educational environment throughout the world. And since it is programmable the kids could learn the rudiments of programming which is essential now for an engineer.
I think that it should be introduced as low as Junior High and what could happen is that as the students progress through the grades they could create programs for every formula that they encounter so that by the time of graduation they all could have developed a library of important formulas that they can always refer to. And they even could carry on into college with that App.
Is this a specific enough recommendation?
Then we ought to look into the textbook publishing/Educational complex... it really has gotten out of hand with pictures of long haired authors and outrageous graphics. Never a full blown essay, just quick quips.
Many of you have no idea how horrible things have become with the "new" educational philosophies.
I'll never forget telling my Daughter's Grade School Math Teacher that she ought to be drilling the kids on their math facts. Her retort was, "Why nooo Mr. Deeekins, that is YOUR responsibility! We teach them how to think!"
That, my dear friends is THE formula for disaster.
And when the Principal of MLKing in Detroit invited me into a huge Parent Conference for failing 9th Graders, and I witnessed people telling the Parents that they have to take and drill their kids in the most fundamental math facts I wondered where all the money went? Perhaps the fancy clothes and expensive cars.
Kumon works. Implement it! Set up a Kumon Corps so that the children of parents that can't help can be assisted by Children who are bright.
It probably will be more effective than the Brownie and Cub Scout programs.
Oh gee, I probably just upset someone!
And as I said defending the Volt before, we will be going electric. Faster with the Government involvement, slower without.
EV's are a solution in search of a problem. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why manufacturers are not marketing dual-fuel vehicles in this country. So many people have access to natural gas that is domestically produced, burns clean and provides so much more energy density than rechargeable batteries. Compressed natural gas (CNG) would easily provide the kind of range used by the majority of daily drivers. You eliminate a huge weight penalty of batteries, there is no wear out mechanism like batteries, and you could fuel at home if you had the time for a low-volume, high pressure pump, or you could fuel at CNG stations. For long distance trips, you burn gasoline when CNG is not available or convenient. There is some weight and volume penalty when compared to a petrol only car but the market would eventually tell the manufacturers how many cubic feet of gas people really want and the penalty it extracts. This fixation on EV's is asinine.
Agree. Like others have said before me, GM is beholden to the whims of the federal government. When folks say "educate" what they really mean is force it on you because these paternalistic folks believe the public at large are too stupid to do what is best for themselves. GM is foolish to push a product on the consumers. Yes, there will be a market for EV's, just not the market the they want see as enlightened scholars in ivory towers. The backlash from consumers will be swift and certain. If the "successes" of the Volt don't drive that point home to these clueless Dolts, nothing will.
Here, here. I agree. Also add in the cost of collage skyrocketing, why? Because they can get those students to take out exorbitant loans so they can get their degree in Intergenerational Modal Reflexive Apprecitation with out actually teaching them any useful skills!
My wife and I decided long ago to homeschool our children and my two oldest sons (18 and 19) learned basic calculus by 12th grade. So everyone's comment of parental invlovement not only includes being involved in educational structure but also in educational expectations. We have set the bar low and we feel good about it.
I agree with many of the comments posted on this subject, but no one has hit on the biggest problem when it comes to encouraging and attracting talent to US EV auto manufacturing - i.e. The false front on the achievements. To build a viable industry, building viable products, anyone, engineers included (especially), must believe in the product - must bleieve that his or her time is well spent. This is true in school as well as industry. The individual must believe that he is making a contribution to society that society wants. The false front is created when the government decrees behaviors that the observer can see don't make sense, aren't practical and or can't succeed in the marketplace. EV is a prime example.
EVs can't be forced on society not because they can't be built, but because their cost/performance envelope doesn't make sense in today's (nor the forseable future's) economics. Why would an engineer want to work for a company producing a product that is doomed in the rational marketplace. Challenging an engineer to innovate in this space is quite another matter, but to make that happen there has to be a potential for success not precluded by the laws of physics and economics. A lone wolf entropreuner might take up the challenge to create a breakthru and thus stimulate this market. It is also possible for large companies to fund R&D that might result in a breakthru or combination of breakthrus that have the same effect, but to put people to work designing upholstry for EVs until that time is a dead end and engineers assigned to that task either won't stay very long or they are not the kind of engineers this country is looking for.
Education is important, but without motivation it will not succeed. Govt. mandate is a push, the opportunity to innovate is a pull. You can't push a chain!
Charles, I believe Reuss was more concern about replenishing the Automotive Engineering pool with his comment on engineers being drawn to the Silicon Valley and not the Midwest Rust Belt. I'm not knocking the Auto Industry because my engineering origins started with GM in a Detroit suburban manufacturing plant but the big picture is educating kids to be technically and scientifically literate. With this diverse knowledge, all problems confronting business and industry sectors would have a good chance of being resolved. STEM is a very good initiative that can accomplish resolving challenges in the business and industry sectors. Also, the engineering knowledge pool should be spread throughout the nation and the world to help make life a little better.
The way I read this is GM has concluded that EV's are the answer, and everyone else had better step up to the plate and make their wish come true.
Since EV's now, and for the forseeable future are only feasible if legislated or subsidised, I can only conclude that the government bailout has firmly entrenched GM into a political agenda. It further supports the notion that the bailout only provided a shot in the arm and GM has nothing substantive to carry them long term.
The elephant in the room isn't that there's a lack of qualified engineers. If GM walked the talk, they'd be posting openings for thousands of EE's, ME's and ChemE's, and they'd have no problem filling them. Graduates aren't going to silicon valley to spite the auto industry, it's because that's where the JOBS are.
If engineers from abroad find opportunity here, I have no problem with that - they earned it with their hard work educating themselves. We are simply reaping the benefit of an education system more concerned about Billy learning about having two mommies and concerns over too many sugary drinks than sitting his a55 in a chair and teaching him to read. I have no more faith in government run education than I do a government run auto (or any other) company.
I agree with your comment that the best of our best is as good as in the rest of the world. However, in many/most schools I also notice that we are presently pandering to the bottom tier students. In much of the world, China, Europe, etc, Secondary Schooling is more rigorous and there are many students who don't even attend at this level. They go directly into a trade school. The US seems to think that every student can be a top level engineer, businessperson, or whatever, and because the schools are measured by the students grades, the school administration pushes down on the rigor to allow the bottom tier student to "pass" (grade inflation). Many high performing students are not challenged, and they don't perform to their best potential. I am proposing more STEM magnet schools, especially ones that aren't afraid to return low performers back to their home districts. This will generate the class of Scientists and Engineers necessary to move technology forward. Thank you (Long time reader, first time poster - very important topic).
As energy efficiency becomes more and more a concern for makers of electronics devices, researchers are coming up with new ways to harvest energy from sound vibration, footsteps, and even electromagnetic fields in the air.
The government wants to study your brain, and DARPA wants to use similar information to give robots true autonomy beyond any artificial intelligence developed to date. Sound like science fiction? It's not.
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