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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Meet SOIC & SOT, Your Children’s New Best Friends Erik Smith
SOIC & SOT – the Microchips by author/engineer Jeffery C. Dunnihoo and illustrator Simona M. Ceccarelli, anthropomorphizes its electronic component heroes, taking young readers on a journey from warehouse to board and showing how components communicate to bring devices to life.

Celebrating the Exciting Future of STEM Sarah Harmet
November 8th is National STEM Day—a day to celebrate science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as the students, young professionals, and experts pursuing greatness within these fields.

Why Inventiveness is More Important Now Than Ever Steven Keeping
The buzzword “innovation” has become something of a mantra for the technology sector, designed to stimulate the out-of-the-box thinking needed to come up with winning products against ever tougher competition. But innovation is perhaps as wrong a mantra today as it was in the seventeenth century when, according to an article in The Atlantic, innovators were more likely to have their ears cut off and be thrown into jail than celebrated. What we need today, more than ever, is not innovation, but invention.

STEM Scouts: Boy Scouts of America’s New STEM Initiative (That’s for Girls Too!) Mike Parks
Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics. The STEM Movement, along with the Maker Movement, have been transformative forces in our modern society. Both have rekindled a spirit of “can do” optimism and excitement for exploring the unknown that has lain dormant for many of us. The Maker Movement has retaught us that getting your hands dirty and having a do-it-yourself mentality is not just pragmatic or thrifty, it is also just plain fun.

Rock You Like a Hurricane: Why Diversity Matters in STEM Mike Parks
Have you ever noticed that there isn't one fixed hurricane prediction model? Those “cones of error” represent that wide array of assumed courses from many different hurricane models. Each of those models comes with different parameters, algorithms, and input data that leads to different outputs. No model is ever 100% right, but when you discount outliers and find trends among the remaining model, you can get a good enough idea to start making some rational decisions.

Girls and Engineering: They’re Interested, but Their Parents… Barry Manz
If you’re wondering why there are so few female engineers, you don’t have to look far for answer: Ask mom and dad. That was one of the takeaways from a study conducted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in the U.K as part of its Engineering a Better World campaign, and reported in the IET’s Engineering and Technology magazine on March 30. The IET’s research focused on parental perceptions and their relevance to the low percentage of the UK’s female engineers (6%) and 4% of its technicians.

High School Robotics and the FIRST Program Grant Imahara
Recently, I had the opportunity to accompany Mouser Electronics to the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis, MO. FIRST (which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”) is an international robotics competition for high school students. They spend six weeks designing and building a robot that will perform some task; like scooping up soccer balls and putting them into a goal. The game changes every year, so you always have to start from scratch.

It's a Bird... It’s a Plane... It’s a Drone Justin Risedorf
Drones are becoming big players in the toy sector, especially as toys are no longer just for young children. LEGO bricks have long been a favorite toy of the young and old, and a company called Brickdrones is now offering kits with the parts necessary to build your very own operational drone from LEGOs.

Open Source Hardware Sylvie Barak
According to the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA): "Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design.” Going deeper, OSHWA says that the hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, must be available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. “Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs." What’s interesting in the above definition is that - much of the time - open source hardware is basically open source software; meaning that the piece of hardware is usually proprietary, but what you can do with that hardware is open.

Get Out and Flex Those Brain Muscles Caroline Storm Westenhover
Oh my goodness, did you see the Robot on Mouser robotics challenge? I have to be honest, I have done many things in software but almost nothing in hardware. I have coded robot brains to do things like clustered object avoidance, but never put it in actual hardware. I have wanted to since my second semester, I just never managed to find the time. Seeing all these robot gets me excited again.

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