National Static Electricity Day

National Static Electricity Day is celebrated every year on January 9th.

Static electricity is defined by Library of Congress as “an imbalance between negative and positive charges in objects.” This type of reaction can occur to any of us because we can see, feel, and hear its reaction. Static electricity is harmless and can occur in more than just one form of static shock, such as rubbing a balloon against your clothes and sticking it on the walls or even on your hair to make your hair raise.

The first person to speak about static electricity was Thales of Miletus, a Greek philosopher, when he noticed dust was sticking to his ambers after he rubbed them; but it wasn’t until many years later that the term “electricity” was established, and that’s when humankind started to understand and research more about the concept of static electricity. Now, National Static Electricity Day is celebrated because it has become an essential aspect of and shaped our everyday lives in many positive ways. For example, thanks to static electricity and electric engineering developments, factories’ air pollution can be managed.

Here are some fun facts about static electricity:

  • Lightning is known to be a form of static electricity due to electric charge exchange between clouds;
  • Static electricity could be the future source to solve our energy problems; and
  • Photocopy machines use static electricity to place ink on paper.

If you want to learn more about science and static electricity, please visit: https://www.sciencemadesimple.com/static.html


 

Engineering Ted Talks

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design and is a nonprofit organization that specializes in sharing knowledgeable ideas based on research. This organization was founded in New York City 37 years ago on February 23, 1984 by Harry Marks alongside co-founder Richard Saul Wurman.  The organization began covering only technology, entertainment, and design topics, but now it has spread into covering all different types of topics. The organization holds a yearly conference and is available in more than 100 languages. The goal of TED Talks is for speakers to reach their targeted audience globally and educate them about specific topics with their powerful talks.

TED Talks are great ways to stay up to date with the latest highlights of the engineering industry. Many innovators are using the TED Talk platform to educate engineers and others interested in the topic. Here are three educational TED Talks for engineers:

  1. Speaker Joachim Horn is a mechanical engineer and the co-founder of the Imperial College Design Collective. His TED Talk is called “A Solution for Building a Generation of Inventors” and it covers developing news ideas for the future of engineering. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdLWAHFaPj8
  2. Speaker Doris Kim Sung is a former biology student who turned her interest to architecture. Her TED Talk is called “Metal That Breathes” and it covers the use of certain materials in modern construction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvIyVZf3qZU
  3. Speaker Francis de los Reyes is a professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering and Associate Faculty of Microbiology. His TED Talk is called “Sanitation is a Basic Human Right” and it covers important information about public infrastructure globally. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdZJ0SMbh10

To learn more about all the types of engineering TED Talks, subscribe to TED YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAuUUnT6oDeKwE6v1NGQxug


 

National STEM Day

This Monday, November 8, is National STEM Day. The term STEM is a catch-all acronym for the following academic disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This holiday was created by a toy company named MGA Entertainment in 2015 to allow children to engage in these academic disciplines in fun and entertaining ways. This allows children to explore their interest in these academic disciplines and at the same time allows them to find their career passion at an early age.

In celebration of National STEM Day, here are some activities you can do with your children to help them develop and/or advance their STEM skills:

There are hundreds of other activities your children can do to stimulate their STEM skills. Even if they choose a career path outside of STEM, these activities can be useful in their everyday lives. For more information about STEM, go to: https://www.ed.gov/stem