Friday, February 1, 2013

Top Five Tweets of the Week: STEM to STEAM, Bearings for Figure Skating, and California Job Losses

Rolling into 2013 with lots of exciting announcements about new engineering services and contract manufacturing offerings, we still have a keen eye on all things motion-related and that which inspires us through STEM initiatives (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). But wait — have you heard the latest buzzword around STEM? What really caught our attention was topics related to "STEAM", which incorporates "art" into the acronym, is a movement championed by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and adopted widely by institutions, corporations, and individuals.
1. STEM-to-STEAM: An Initiative That Brings Alludes that Technology Requires Creativity via We're really excited about the objectives of this movement; Transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEM, encourage integration of Art + Design in K-20 education, and influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation. The website also says that STEAM was developed with the notion that technical know-how alone may not be enough to drive innovation, so as the United States marches further into the 21st century, institutions, companies, and other organizations alike are becoming, shall we say, more creative. In order to solve our nation’s current problems, an interdisciplinary, well-rounded approach that blends vital fields may be key.

2. California Loses 2,600 Manufacturing Jobs in December 2012 via In terms of manufacturing job growth, California did not finish the year out strong and did indeed continue to shed manufacturing jobs. In fact, according to 2001-2012 data, California manufacturing is declining 13% more than the U.S. In addition to that, California’s manufacturing base has eroded 32% since 2001 – a loss of over 600,000 manufacturing jobs that paid, on average, $20,000 a year more than service jobs.

3. Do Engineers Use Social Media? via Yes, according to Calgavin, who reports that a whopping 61%, or over half of all engineers, use social media for work-related activities. According to their study, engineers use the following social media channels accordingly:
  • Google+: 33% 
  • LinkedIn: 43% 
  • Twitter: 22% 
  • Facebook: 67% 

And, their favorite types of content? Videos, articles, white papers, images, webinars, interviews, and forums!

4. Smart Manufacturing Will Rise to Global Challenges via Rockwell Automation’s CEO Keith Nosbusch has an interesting take on the future of manufacturing: "The coming decade will be the first in 200 years when emerging-market countries contribute more growth than the developed ones," says Nosbusch. He attributes this theory primarily to the high economic uncertainty within the United States, that is putting the brakes on current and future growth possibilities. Emerging markets, on the other hand, are developing to the point where increased manufacturing is needed, and may be able to occur in a much more cost-efficient, economically sound climate. Nosbusch attributed smart technology to 3 key drivers: technology, talent, and infrastructure.
5. Did you Know That Figure Skating Harnesses Use Ball Bearings? via Pulley systems, with harnesses, are used in figure skating to help ice skaters master jumps. These pulley systems utilize ball bearings and are of substantial strength in order to bear the weight of figure skaters of a variety of ages and sizes. The pulley system is operated by the coach or trainer, who helps hoist the skater into the area, and/or stabilizes their “in air” position to prolong a jump.

With that said, falling on hard surfaces can still make a skater prone to injury, so the more help a skater can get during his or her training, even in the form of jumping assistance, the better! Such equipment can be extremely useful to the skater who is trying to master his or her moves, reducing chances of hard falls.

THANKS — We hope you enjoyed this week's wrap up! Join us at @BWCnews for daily updates!