R6 Northwest Area: “We’re the ones that do the magic.” – Seattle on April 26

Last weekend brought me to Seattle.  The voice of the northwest area: students, students, students.  Most of the candidate questions focused on how to draw students in to the transition from student member to member and how to draw pre-college students into the pipeline.

There’s no lack of interest in students – and truly no lack of member volunteers willing to work with students. There have been hackathons and app competitions that have been very effective and shown tremendous new vitality.  Programs that successfully combine hardware and design — a necessary element for electrical and computer projects – have lagged, though, and gotten stale.  One of the IEEE leaders at the meeting explained it very well –” we’re the ones that do the magic.” Outreach activities have been a commendable focus of effort but the quantity and quality of electrical and computer related activities is an area that needs more development. Civil engineering outreach has the popsicle-stick bridges – no magic, but great for a 1-hour hands-on outreach experience, down to pre-middle-school. Anyone have a magic bridge bridge to share?

Two other topics from this meeting I am saving for later posts: electronic communication and a distinguished lecture on “The Cloud Meets the Bluetooth Smart”.

Kathleen Kramer | Candidate for IEEE R6 Director-Elect