Thursday, November 21, 2013

Girls & Women Just Wanna Be Engineers

It's been thrilling for me to work with several young women this semester who are applying to college to become engineers. I thought of them when I watched this video and read this article in the New York Times. Take a read. Have a look at the delightful video when you click on the NYT link

"Who said girls want to dress in pink and play with dolls, especially when they could be building Rube Goldberg machines instead?
"That is the message of a video that has gone viral since it was posted on YouTube this week — an ad for GoldieBlox, a start-up toy company that sells games and books to encourage girls to become engineers.
"In the video, three girls are bored watching princesses in pink on TV. So they grab a tool kit, goggles and a hard hat and set to work building a Rube Goldberg machine that sends pink teacups and baby dolls flying through the house, using umbrellas, ladders and, of course, GoldieBlox toys." READ MORE-WATCH THE VIDEO

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tweeting & FB Posts Might Mess with Your College Chances....

If you have any kind of on-line presence and you're applying to college, read this piece in The New York Times, "They Loved Your GPA. Then They Saw Your Tweets."  Here are some highlights:
"In an effort to help high school students avoid self-sabotage online, guidance counselors are tutoring them in scrubbing their digital identities. At Brookline High School in Massachusetts, juniors are taught to delete alcohol-related posts or photographs and to create socially acceptable email addresses. One junior’s original email address was “bleedingjesus,” said Lenny Libenzon, the school’s guidance department chairman. That changed.
“They imagine admissions officers are old professors,” he said. “But we tell them a lot of admissions officers are very young and technology-savvy.”
"Likewise, high school students seem to be growing more shrewd, changing their searchable names on Facebook or untagging themselves in pictures to obscure their digital footprints during the college admission process.
“We know that some students maintain two Facebook accounts,” says Wes K. Waggoner, the dean of undergraduate admission at Southern Methodist University in Dallas." READ MORE 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Positive helicoptering" or the Twilight Zone?

Just when you thought it was time to leave home and be on your own, colleges - and parents - are finding new ways to keep parents in the loop. Some say it's using parents as cheap labor, to promote the colleges. One says it's "positive helicoptering." A shrink says it's a bad idea. An educator says it's a way to keep up a school's prestige. Your thoughts? From the New York Times article on Nov. 1.

"Colleges have long sought parents’ help with job placement and networking. But now many small and medium private colleges and some large public universities (West Virginia University, University of Pittsburgh) call on parents of enrolled students to volunteer with the admissions office. They promote the school at fairs, share their experiences on parent-to-parent panels, reach out to local parents and even conduct admissions interviews.
"With assistance from a generation of devoted P.T.A.-goers accustomed to playing an active part in their children’s education, smaller colleges can maintain a wider presence and cover more fairs, attracting more and better applicants. “It is a question of resource allocation,” Stephanie Balmer, dean of admissions at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., told me. “We can’t hire enough staff to expand our reach and be present in all those places.” READ MORE