IEEE-USA provides backing to support ongoing engineering awareness projects

December 30, 2004

WASHINGTON (30 December 2004) -- Three collaborative programs designed to promote public awareness of engineers and engineering received support from IEEE-USA at the end of the year. The ongoing programs appeal to a variety of audiences using targeted media: special events (for youngsters); movies (for youngsters and young adults); and television news (for adults and the public-at-large). On 17 November, in San Antonio, the IEEE-USA Board also supported in principle the IEEE IEEE emeritbadge program "to provide a global non-discriminatory precollege technology education program for boys and girls."

As part of its budget, the IEEE-USA Board of Directors reallocated funds to support two Engineers Week 2005 events including continuation of the Family Day activity to be held on Saturday, 19 February, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The hands-on opportunity helps youngsters appreciate how things work and grasp fundamental engineering principles. In 1993, with the EWeek Committee, the IEEE launched the first EWeek Family Night at Intelsat.

In 2004, IEEE-USA and its EWeek partners provided substantial funding to continue Family Day, when the IEEE led EWeek with Fluor Corp. More than 8,500 youngsters and adults broke the previous record for attendance at any event at the Building Museum. Youngsters interacted with Washington-area engineers to build towers, compete in a robot competition, explore a model of the Mars Rover, and meet PBS' "Zoom Into Engineering" cast. The EWeek Committee is working with engineering society volunteers in Washington to assume financial and organizational responsibility for Family Day as soon as 2006.

Also in support of EWeek 2005 (20-26 February), IEEE-USA sponsored the preparation of animated slides to promote "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day." The slides will be shown in 157 Regal Cinema theatres in eight major cities from 28 January to 25 February: Los Angeles/Long Beach 26; San Francisco/Hacienda Crossings; New York/Union Square; Atlanta/Hollywood 24; Philadelphia/King of Prussia; Washington/Gallery Place Stadium 14; Chicago/Lincolnshire; Dallas/Fossil Creek; and Boston/Bellingham.

EWeek 2005 "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day," now in its fifth year, is scheduled for Thursday, 24 February. The campaign encourages engineers, particularly women, to make the world of engineering "come alive" for girls. Since its inception, an estimated one-million girls have experienced engineering firsthand each year. IEEE-USA is also lending its support to a planned United Nations activity in support of EWeek 2005 Girl Day, having spearheaded the first such activity with EWeek in 2004.

In addition, IEEE-USA provided funding to support additional engineering features in American Institute of Physics syndicated news feeds for local news programs in the top 108 U.S. television markets. The "Discoveries and Breakthroughs" news service delivers twelve 90-second broadcasts with two audio tracks each month to the subscribing stations. IEEE-USA involvement will ensure that more engineering stories are included. An IEEE-USA staff member is now participating in weekly editorial planning teleconferences to provide leads to IEEE experts on IEEE technologies.

During 2004, "Discoveries" provided a realistic image of how science, technology, engineering and math professionals actively work to contribute to a better quality of life. News stories have covered improved technology that brings health benefits (38 percent), new technologies that facilitate daily life (19 percent), better medical procedures (12 percent), improved forecasting and air quality (12 percent), and answers to questions that we are curious about (11 percent).
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IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the IEEE. It was created in 1973 to advance the public good and promote the careers and public-policy interests of the more than 225,000 technology professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. The IEEE is the world's largest technical professional society. For more information, go to www.ieeeusa.org.

IEEE-USA

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