Public Release: 

IEEE-USA approves '06 public-awareness program

To enhance engineers' image


As part of its ongoing effort to promote the image of engineers in the United States, IEEE-USA volunteer leaders have endorsed a 2006 public-awareness program that reaches out to youngsters, adults and the public-at-large through targeted media and events.

At meetings on 29 October and 11 November in Baltimore and Orlando, the IEEE-USA Operating Committee and IEEE-USA Board, respectively, approved $73,000 in expenditures, plus related support for the 2006 program, which includes six components:

  • Adding IEEE technologies to television engineering news spots developed through the American Institute of Physics' (AIP) "Discoveries & Breakthroughs" U.S. TV sales- syndication program
  • Helping journalists in print and broadcast fields communicate authoritatively to the public about engineering and science through the placement of two IEEE-USA Media Fellows, as part of an overall AAAS program
  • Backing engineering capacity building in and outside of the United States by recognizing U.S. students in the Colorado-based humanitarian organization, Engineers Without Borders-USA(EWB-USA)
  • Introducing youngsters to basic engineering concepts and communicating engineers' support for local community activities through the National Engineers Week 2006 Discover Engineering Family Day
  • Pursuing a second United Nations EWeek Girl Day in New York City for advancing technology skills of young females worldwide and communicating an inclusive image of engineering in the United States
  • Informing younger students, nine to 13 years-old, about future careers in engineering through a brochure distributed to a cross-section of children's museums nationwide

TV ENGINEERING NEWS SPOTS: For a second consecutive year, the IEEE-USA Board backed AIP's "Discoveries & Breakthroughs" TV news spots, raising IEEE-USA's contribution to $25,000. In 2005, the organization participated in developing more than 140 news stories about engineering and science, distributed to 108 U.S. TV stations with a potential audience of 80-million viewers. Placements included coverage of such IEEE technologies as a robotic arm for stroke victims, high-tech captions, a mouse adapter for individuals with hand tremors, and an oxyride battery. IEEE-USA is also collaborating with AIP on adapting the TV news spots for use in the classroom by pre-university students and teachers. For more information, go to

MEDIA FELLOWS: Beginning in 2006, for the seventh consecutive year, IEEE-USA is continuing its support of the AAAS Science and Engineering Mass Media Fellows Program -- for the first time choosing two IEEE-USA Fellows -- with a $17,000 contribution. Since 2000, IEEE-USA has backed six U.S. IEEE student members who have worked for 10 weeks at these media outlets: "Scientific American"; WNBC-TV, in New York City; "Popular Science"; WOSU-AM, in Columbus, Ohio; the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch"; and the "Richmond Times-Dispatch." In 2005, two-dozen AAAS Mass Media Fellows produced some 250 news stories about science and technology. For more information, go to

JOURNALISM AWARD: In a related activity, IEEE-USA presents an annual award to journalists for distinguished literary contributions furthering the public understanding of the profession. Since 1988, past literary award recipients have included NPR's Richard Harris, "The Wall Street Journal's" G. Pascal Zachary, and Author Jon Katz.

EWB-USA STUDENT RECOGNITIONS: For the first time in 2006, IEEE-USA is sponsoring five $1,000 recognition awards for students who participate in volunteer capacity building projects for the Colorado-based humanitarian organization, Engineers Without Borders (EWB)-USA. The awards, given in such areas as appropriate technology and sustainable legacy, will be presented at the EWB-USA international conference at Rice University in Houston from 16-18 February 2006. For more information, go to

EWEEK '06 FAMILY DAY: For the third consecutive year, IEEE-USA is cosponsoring the EWeek 2006 Discover Engineering Family Day, to be held on Saturday, 18 February, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. A $15,000 contribution to the interactive, hands-on event will help youngsters grasp fundamental engineering principles. With 7,000 attendees, the 2005 Family Day event produced the second-largest turnout in the history of the National Building Museum -- exceeded only by the 2004 Family Day. During EWeek in 1993, IEEE-USA helped launch the first Family Night at Intelsat in Washington, the model for the current Family Day event. For more information, go to

EWEEK '06 UN 'GIRL DAY': IEEE-USA public-relations staff is pursuing a second EWeek United Nations "Girl Day" in 2006 that addresses advancing girls' science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills worldwide, as well as increasing information networks among youth through technology. For information on the first IEEE-USA-spearheaded UN "Girl Day," go to

CAREERS BROCHURE: And, finally, IEEE-USA will be producing a pre-university education brochure designed primarily for youngsters in fourth to eighth grades, and distributed to a cross-section of children's museum nationwide. The brochure will complement another version aimed at high-school students.


IEEE-USA has been actively involved in promoting public awareness of engineers and engineering since 1981. For more information on the organization's public-awareness program, a brochure can be viewed and downloaded at

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public-policy interests of more than 220,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals, who are U.S. members of the IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 360,000 members in 150 countries. For more information, go to

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