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NAE Presents Year’s Top Engineering Prizes

This year's highest honors in the engineering profession recognize the groundbreaking creation of the lithium-ion battery and the development of an innovative engineering curriculum that encourages entrepreneurship and leadership.
 
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) annually presents two major prizes for engineering excellence. Winners are recognized in separate award ceremonies and receive $500,000.
  
The Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering will be awarded to John B. Goodenough, Yoshio Nishi, Rachid Yazami, and Akira Yoshino for creating the lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries are used by millions of people around the world in cell phones, laptops, tablets, hearing aids, cameras, power tools, and many other compact, lightweight mobile devices.
 
The Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education will be awarded to John Collier, Robert Graves, Joseph Helble, and Charles Hutchinson for innovation in engineering and technology education at the Dartmouth Engineering Entrepreneurship Program (DEEP) program. Administered through the university's Thayer School of Engineering, DEEP is a multidisciplinary educational paradigm that integrates entrepreneurship and leadership training into all aspects of its curriculum.
 
Read more about the prizes and this year’s winners.

January 10: Workshop on Communicating about the Life Sciences – Webcast/Videos Available!

What institutional barriers keep life scientists from communicating to the public about their work? How can scientists effectively engage in public dialogue about societal issues such as environmental change, health and medicine, and food security? A public workshop, “Sustainable Infrastructures for Life Science Communication” addresses these and related questions on Friday, January 10 in Washington, D.C.
 
The workshop is part of the National Academies’ Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences activity and brings together leaders from the life sciences community and research organizations. Attend in person, join the webcast, or access presentations and videos (available after Jan. 10).

January 10: Climate Change Webinar

The National Research Council will hold a webinar briefing on the new report “Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises” Friday, January 10 at 2:00 p.m. EST. The webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
 
Register now.
 
Climate change has increased concern over possible changes in Earth’s physical climate system, including its atmosphere, land surfaces, and oceans. Some of these changes could occur abruptly—within a few decades or even years—leaving little time for society and ecosystems to adapt. In a new report, an expert panel assembled by the National Research Council summarizes the current state of knowledge about abrupt climate change. The report also draws attention to evidence that even non-abrupt climate changes could cause abrupt impacts, such as effects on infrastructure and ecosystems, if critical thresholds are crossed.

The report calls for the development of an early warning system that could help society better anticipate sudden changes and emerging impacts. 

The Koshland Science Museum’s Earth Lab offers a wealth of information about the causes and impacts of climate change based on expert reports from the National Academies. Explore the Earth Lab in person or online; classroom-ready modules are also available free of charge on our Teacher Resources page.

National Academy of Engineering Celebrates 50 Years

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the NAE, an occasion being commemorated with a video contest and other exciting opportunities and celebrations.
 
Founded in 1964, the mission of the National Academy of Engineering is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.
 
The NAE has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates, senior professionals in business, academia, and government who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers. They provide the leadership and expertise for numerous projects focused on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life.
 
The NAE offers many resources and opportunities for engineers and the broader public:

2013 Highlights from the National Academies

In addition to issuing numerous reports aimed at advising the nation on matters of science, technology, and health policy, the National Academies celebrated several important milestones and new developments in 2013.

  • President Obama joined us in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr. began his term as president of the National Academy of Engineering.
  • NAS launched the Gulf Research Program, a 30-year, $500 million initiative to study human health, environmental protection, and oil system safety in the Gulf of Mexico region.
  • The Academies continued its role as a leader in science and engineering through its awards programs, fellowships, education and research programs, international partnerships, and outreach initiatives.

Find a list of key reports from 2013 and more year-end highlights.

Jan. 7 Workshop Launches New IOM Roundtable on Obesity Solutions

On January 7, 2014, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) launches its new Roundtable on Obesity Solutions with a workshop entitled, "The Current State of Obesity Solutions in the United States." The workshop will present a status update on the current epidemiology of obesity and explore the prevalence, trends, severity, and disparities across the United States. Workshop presenters will discuss key settings where change is happening, focusing on nutrition, physical activity, the elimination of health disparities, and what should happen next.
 
The workshop is open to the public and will also be available as a live webcast. Speakers’ presentations and a video recording of the proceedings will be available after the workshop.
 
Register to attend, join the webcast, or access the recorded sessions (after the workshop) here.
 
Challenge your knowledge of dietary guidelines and nutrition through the Koshland Science Museum’s online interactive exhibit, Food for Thought.

Announcing a New Program Series on Community Resilience

Everyone has a story to tell about their experience of a natural or human-made disaster. Why do some communities bounce back and others do not? How can we prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters?
 
The Koshland Science Museum will launch a new Science Social program with three events in fall 2013 focused on community resilience.
 
Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Is Community Resilience Real or Fiction?

Is building community resilience possible or just wishful thinking? Mix it up with disaster expert Gerald Galloway and join a lively discussion about community resilience. No preparation or expertise required—bring your questions and ideas.
$10/adults, $7/students

Wednesday, October 30, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.      
Extreme Event Challenge

Immerse yourself in a challenging group game in which your team must prioritize and collaborate to survive a fictitious disaster. With fun group dynamics and a surprising twist, the game will raise real-world questions about what it takes to make our communities more resilient.
$10/adults, $7/students

Saturday, November 16, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Resilience in Your Neighborhood: A Community Event

During this special all-day event, families and adults are invited to enjoy hands-on activities, meet disaster experts and emergency responders, and learn how to build a more resilient community.
$7/adults, $4/students and active military
 
Stay tuned for new interactive museum features and more events to come in 2014! Email ksm@nas.edu to sign up for resilience programming updates.

Flu Season Resources

Flu season is here! Approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year. What are scientists, public health practitioners, and the rest of us doing to limit the flu’s spread? Explore this collection of resources from the National Academies to learn about the science of influenza, its public health challenges, and what you can do to protect yourself and others:

Free Field Trips for Spring Semester

As you look forward to next semester, consider a field trip to the Koshland Science Museum. It’s a great opportunity for students to see how science can solve real-world problems. Free school field trips are available for middle schools and high schools in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
 
Interact with the Issues
During a visit to the Koshland Science Museum, your students will see a whole new side of science. We go beyond the “who/what/where” and challenge students to think about why scientists investigate our world and how science informs the decisions we make as individuals and as a society.
 
From climate change to the human brain, students will see how small changes can make a big difference and consider how to make their choices count. Download & share flyer.
 
Customize Your Tour
Our facilitated tour provides an in-depth, personalized 2-hour learning experience for 12-36 participants. Using the Jigsaw method, your group will divide into smaller groups and collaborate to become “experts” on different parts of the exhibit, then exchange information during small-group and whole-class discussions.
 
Facilitated tours focus on one of two exhibits:

  • Life Lab: This exhibit focuses on the human brain and body. Explore the science of learning and memory, find out why we age and see how the brain changes over time, and get behind the wheel of our driving simulator to experience first-hand the effects of distracted driving. Students can even try their hand at designing a high school lunch menu that conforms to national dietary recommendations. 
  • Earth Lab: In this exhibit visitors explore our changing climate. See how scientists investigate climate change and delve into its causes and effects. Then “play policymaker” to consider the energy-sector tradeoffs required to meet CO2 emissions goals.

Self-guided tours are available for 12-100 participants. Students explore the Life Lab, Earth Lab, and a collection of mind-bending games, videos, and interactive experiences at their own pace.
 
Is this Right for Me?
Our exhibits are designed to be informative and engaging for middle schoolers, high schoolers, college students, and adults. Because our museum is affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences, you can be sure the science presented in our exhibits is accurate and frequently updated with the latest developments.
 
Washington, DC-area middle and high school groups can take advantage of free self-guided or facilitated group tours. Free facilitated group tours are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more.
 
For other groups, admission rates are $7 for adults and $4 for students and active military. Chaperones, teachers, and tour operators receive one free admission per every 10 visitors. The facilitated visit option costs $200, in addition to regular admission. Learn more.

 

Holiday Shopping for Science Lovers

Looking for the perfect gift for the science-minded kids and adults in your life? Check out the Holiday Gift Guide for Science Lovers, originally published in 2012 by the Science & Entertainment Exchange of the National Academies! Featuring gift suggestions for ladies, gentlemen, and children, the guide highlights beautiful nature-based artwork, gadgets, toys, and more.
 
You can also shop at the National Academies’ book store for books, clothing, and novelty items. The store is located at the Keck Center, 500 5th St., N.W., Washington, D.C.
 
A trip to the Koshland Science Museum or tickets to one of our evening programs also makes a terrific gift. Museum tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance. Browse our calendar for upcoming programs & events.

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