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Well that's a ludicrous idea. Assuming they earned it, give it to them no matter what. Withholding it from those who've earned it will only ensure even higher unemployment of youths and more gang participation. Dumb. 

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15 hours ago, PhoenixAvsFan said:

Well that's a ludicrous idea. Assuming they earned it, give it to them no matter what. Withholding it from those who've earned it will only ensure even higher unemployment of youths and more gang participation. Dumb. 

My thoughts exactly, how many especially in an area like Chicago where there are so many bad things going on - something like 70 people killed on a sat. these kids do something good and get a diploma(something needed now to be a burger flipper) and they're going to take it away?  

Its like a College not giving you your degree unless you have a job lined up in that field. 

 

I'm also curious what are "arpproved" gap year plans,  would volunteering for the GOP be approved by an ex official in the Obama admin?  

Would advocating for the NRA be approved? What about doing nothing but "exploring options"?  seems like its alot of opening for discrimination cases that that city and state can't afford now. 

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It's seems Chicago would be better served trying to replace some of the hundreds of teachers they've lost in the recent years and/or improve their graduation rates. 

 

This was written by a colleague of mine: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/13/human-evolutions-biggest-problems/  (It's about science in general and evolution specifically, and not Trump, but apologies if it should go in the politics thread because of its association with Trump.)

 

 

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10 minutes ago, 31AVSFan said:

It's seems Chicago would be better served trying to replace some of the hundreds of teachers they've lost in the recent years and/or improve their graduation rates. 

 

Bing up a a good point, if they don't get their diploma, did they graduate?  if its something earned, then is that theft? or are they going to say it wasn't earned and thus possibly(probaly?) hurt their grad rates again? 

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Another engineer!  I'm a mechanical design engineer; and we build, re-manufacture, and supply parts and support for high-speed conveyor equipment in the packaging industries.  My head engineer just retired earlier this year, so now I'm also the engineering manager.  I love the design work I do; I use SolidWorks for our 3-D modelling.

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On 7/12/2017 at 1:15 PM, AvsJen said:

ojb - I'm fighting off the need to learn Drupal as much as I can but see it coming in my future.  Sigh :(

 

To all the engineers - Like most students, my first year engineer students are horrible at reading the procedure in chem lab.  When I tell them to bloody read (more professionally than that of course) I often hear "We're engineers.  We don't need to read".  Thoughts?  Any suggestions for a well educated snappy response I can use?

 

On 7/12/2017 at 2:40 PM, AvsJen said:

How much do you read with your job?  They seem to be of the opinion that engineers just design and build stuff.  Reading and writing skills aren't important.

I need to be better educated on what various types of engineers do.

 

Yeah, similar to A03, I didn't care much for the chemistry side of engineering until I got into my Jr/Sr level Material Science classes.  I really enjoyed studying the crystalline structures and why/how materials fail.

I read a fair amount, again like A03, understanding customer input forms on orders is very important.  I also have to research manufacturing processes; right now I'm learning material hardening options (coatings vs. heat hardening & annealing).  And then some of the machines we build require technical manuals, so there is some technical writing (how to operate the machine, how to service, general maintenance, dis-assembly procedures, ect.)

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How much writing do you engineers have to do?  My dad (PhD and not in engineering) works with engineers, and he and I were talking about how he's hired quite a few engineers that are surprised they might be asked to write proposals in their jobs and managed to not learn any real-world writing while in college...simple things like spelling and punctuation are beyond them.

Along a similar thread, I had a mathematics major take my [writing intensive] Evolution of Language course last spring.  All of the students here have to take so many credits of writing intensive courses.  Since it's an upper level course, we focus on scientific writing and therefore don't set any Anth or Bio prerequisites - so we get a lot of random majors who think the class might be an interesting course and get them away from major material focused writing courses that would be more difficult.  This particular student's writing was pretty bad, but he was adamant he didn't actually need to know how to write in the real world...

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13 minutes ago, 31AVSFan said:

How much writing do you engineers have to do?  My dad (PhD and not in engineering) works with engineers, and he and I were talking about how he's hired quite a few engineers that are surprised they might be asked to write proposals in their jobs and managed to not learn any real-world writing while in college...simple things like spelling and punctuation are beyond them.

Along a similar thread, I had a mathematics major take my [writing intensive] Evolution of Language course last spring.  All of the students here have to take so many credits of writing intensive courses.  Since it's an upper level course, we focus on scientific writing and therefore don't set any Anth or Bio prerequisites - so we get a lot of random majors who think the class might be an interesting course and get them away from major material focused writing courses that would be more difficult.  This particular student's writing was pretty bad, but he was adamant he didn't actually need to know how to write in the real world...

In my current job, little writing is involved. Mostly drawing notes, bills of material, etc. Barely a few sentences at a time, except in very rare cases where we need a stand-alone note drawing. 

In my previous job I had to write much more, for presentations and reports and whatnot. Still not particularly long though, and the presentations were mostly just bullet points so I didn't even need correct grammar or punctuation.

In school was when I did most of my writing. And I was actually a pretty good writer as far as engineers go (not exactly a high bar to get over). I got high marks in my one writing class (which was a general university requirement, so I was up against plenty of non-engineers and still compared favorably). Because of that writing skill, I got the "honor" of writing most of the stuff for group projects, including my senior design project (incidentally, the final design report that I wrote was the highest grade our group received). Technical writing is its own challenge because it requires a lot more organization. Being able to effectively organize an outline before writing is half the battle. It also helps having some word processing skills for references, figures, formulas, etc.

I'd say I was in the minority of engineers for being able to write clearly and concisely. 

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1 hour ago, 31AVSFan said:

How much writing do you engineers have to do?  My dad (PhD and not in engineering) works with engineers, and he and I were talking about how he's hired quite a few engineers that are surprised they might be asked to write proposals in their jobs and managed to not learn any real-world writing while in college...simple things like spelling and punctuation are beyond them.

Along a similar thread, I had a mathematics major take my [writing intensive] Evolution of Language course last spring.  All of the students here have to take so many credits of writing intensive courses.  Since it's an upper level course, we focus on scientific writing and therefore don't set any Anth or Bio prerequisites - so we get a lot of random majors who think the class might be an interesting course and get them away from major material focused writing courses that would be more difficult.  This particular student's writing was pretty bad, but he was adamant he didn't actually need to know how to write in the real world...

Frankly I am surprised to hear the attitude toward reading/writing from intro engineering students.  I would think that both are a basic reality of just about any engineering discipline considering the main objective of engineering (besides actually physically building things!)  is communicating highly complex subject matter across multiple disciplines.

There is a lot of reading and writing at my job of all sorts:   Technical memos for software/model/simulation designs,  design review presentations and associated documents,   technical procedures for testing hardware/software,  model/subsystem/system/vehicle/mission requirements, project proposals,  I could go on for quite awhile.  Engineers here have to be fully capable of both reading and writing at a high level.

Also, we are encouraged to take training throughout our careers which is attended alongside many non-engineers.  In other words, we will need to communicate effectively through both reading and writing on par with those who may have stronger backgrounds in both.   In addition, participation in technical conferences is encouraged which requires writing technical papers that go through vetting both internally and externally, in addition to presenting the information to large groups of highly technical people.   Again I could keep going,  but suffice it to say that at least in my experience reading/writing in engineering is a core skill that is very important.  Not as critical as the technical knowledge to do the engineering job, but certainly crucial to job success.

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58 minutes ago, 31AVSFan said:

How much writing do you engineers have to do?  My dad (PhD and not in engineering) works with engineers, and he and I were talking about how he's hired quite a few engineers that are surprised they might be asked to write proposals in their jobs and managed to not learn any real-world writing while in college...simple things like spelling and punctuation are beyond them.

Along a similar thread, I had a mathematics major take my [writing intensive] Evolution of Language course last spring.  All of the students here have to take so many credits of writing intensive courses.  Since it's an upper level course, we focus on scientific writing and therefore don't set any Anth or Bio prerequisites - so we get a lot of random majors who think the class might be an interesting course and get them away from major material focused writing courses that would be more difficult.  This particular student's writing was pretty bad, but he was adamant he didn't actually need to know how to write in the real world...

  We are a very customer-based engineering department, so a lot of the time, once we are into a project, the sales department is bypassed and we deal directly with the customers, so we must be able to send technical e-mails for hashing out a design, or trying to troubleshoot something already in the field.  We have to be able to convey complex ideas to people without engineering backgrounds.  That is actually quite a bit more difficult than it seems!

  And then, we have to be able to provide technical manuals for some of our machines, so we're trying to explain why the machine is designed the way it is or where you go to adjust something to guys and gals who are going to be operating it.  That's most of where my writing comes in!

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Writing is a core skill of my geotechnical engineering job description. All we really do is write soils reports in an attempt to describe existing conditions and give findings and recommendations for foundations and earthwork. But no, technical writing wasn't a big focus of my undergrad engineering program at least. 

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18 hours ago, blake-1 said:

Frankly I am surprised to hear the attitude toward reading/writing from intro engineering students.  I would think that both are a basic reality of just about any engineering discipline considering the main objective of engineering (besides actually physically building things!)  is communicating highly complex subject matter across multiple disciplines.

 

Kinda fixed it.  you would think reading and writing are basic skills to get through life. 

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2 hours ago, grizzlygoalie said:

Kinda fixed it.  you would think reading and writing are basic skills to get through life. 

You'd think!

To be clear it's not just my engineers who don't read in my labs.  It's a general trend that students prefer to ask instead of reading the lab procedure. The engineering students are the only ones who vocalize that they won't need to read in their future careers though. 

Still on the university/career topic, what made you decide to go into your program/field?  Our first and second year numbers are relatively steady because we're a big service department but our number of students graduating with a chemistry degree is declining every year.  This is partly due to the number of pure B.Sc. students declining. Kinetics has become more popular. We also have a new degree starting this year that will take students away from us - bachelor of arts and sciences in health studies. It's being marketed as a degree for students who want to go to med school. 

And then in September 2018 we will have another new degree that will poach from the science departments - bachelor of arts and sciences in environment and climate. It sounds pretty neat but may hit my department hard since those students can get their degree without taking any chemistry depending on the course choices they make. 

So to sum up my long winded stress rant, how do we get students to major in chemistry?  What turns people off chemistry?

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1 minute ago, AvsJen said:

You'd think!

To be clear it's not just my engineers who don't read in my labs.  It's a general trend that students prefer to ask instead of reading the lab procedure. The engineering students are the only ones who vocalize that they won't need to read in their future careers though. 

Still on the university/career topic, what made you decide to go into your program/field?  Our first and second year numbers are relatively steady because we're a big service department but our number of students graduating with a chemistry degree is declining every year.  This is partly due to the number of pure B.Sc. students declining. Kinetics has become more popular. We also have a new degree starting this year that will take students away from us - bachelor of arts and sciences in health studies. It's being marketed as a degree for students who want to go to med school. 

And then in September 2018 we will have another new degree that will poach from the science departments - bachelor of arts and sciences in environment and climate. It sounds pretty neat but may hit my department hard since those students can get their degree without taking any chemistry depending on the course choices they make. 

So to sum up my long winded stress rant, how do we get students to major in chemistry?  What turns people off chemistry?

If I were you I'd reply with, 

"You need to read for my class if you don't expect to fail" and leave it at that. 

And how to get kids in Chem?  can't really help you there wasn't my thing,  I loved sales and sociology so went into marketing.   Love selling via "the big picture" and ads and such,  and ended up not using my degree much....
But maybe do more with fire? that was always the cool parts of Chem. 

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1 hour ago, AvsJen said:

So to sum up my long winded stress rant, how do we get students to major in chemistry?  What turns people off chemistry?

The number one thing is money. You want a high-paying career based on chemistry? Then you're probably going to grad school at least, which a lot of people don't want to do. A B.S. in chemistry will basically get you nowhere. 

The other thing is the high barrier to entry. Chemistry is like a foreign language. It's similar to math in that respect. At first people are really uncomfortable with the nomenclature and basic concepts and it takes a long time (for most people) to come around to that way of thinking. Chemistry happening at the atomic level means you can't really see what's going on, and even the visual representations are abstract and confusing at first. I found that most of the concepts aren't very intuitive. It takes so long at the conceptual level before you start getting any practical experience. If you taught people how to cook meth in the 1st year, you'd probably have a lot higher interest. But turning a solution from pale blue to pale pink isn't exactly riveting educational material, even if you do fully understand what's going on at the atomic level.

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1 hour ago, Avaholic03 said:

The number one thing is money. You want a high-paying career based on chemistry? Then you're probably going to grad school at least, which a lot of people don't want to do. A B.S. in chemistry will basically get you nowhere. 

The other thing is the high barrier to entry. Chemistry is like a foreign language. It's similar to math in that respect. At first people are really uncomfortable with the nomenclature and basic concepts and it takes a long time (for most people) to come around to that way of thinking. Chemistry happening at the atomic level means you can't really see what's going on, and even the visual representations are abstract and confusing at first. I found that most of the concepts aren't very intuitive. It takes so long at the conceptual level before you start getting any practical experience. If you taught people how to cook meth in the 1st year, you'd probably have a lot higher interest. But turning a solution from pale blue to pale pink isn't exactly riveting educational material, even if you do fully understand what's going on at the atomic level.

I disagree completely that a BSc in chemistry will get you nowhere. Yes, more education is pretty much necessary after the chem degree, but you can say the same about basically any undergrad degree nowadays. Undergrad degrees are a stepping stone to the next level of education.  I do agree that there's not a lot in terms of pure chemistry jobs though.

Our chem students go on to become doctors, pharmacists, dentists, teachers, professors, researchers, forensic scientists, chemical engineers, etc. Science degrees in general give you many many options. 

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9 minutes ago, AvsJen said:

I disagree completely that a BSc in chemistry will get you nowhere. Yes, more education is pretty much necessary after the chem degree, but you can say the same about basically any undergrad degree nowadays. Undergrad degrees are a stepping stone to the next level of education.  I do agree that there's not a lot in terms of pure chemistry jobs though.

Our chem students go on to become doctors, pharmacists, dentists, teachers, professors, researchers, forensic scientists, chemical engineers, etc. Science degrees in general give you many many options. 

Perhaps it was wrong to say it will get you "nowhere", but it's still not a final step to a lucrative career. It's a stepping stone. That isn't usually the case with engineering. Maybe that's why you and engineering students don't see eye to eye.

You asked why people don't major in chemistry, I gave you the answer to the best of my knowledge. I'm sorry if you can't agree with how some people feel about chemistry. But you have to realize that your passion for chemistry is an outlier, even among science-based majors. It's really a small minority that has passion for chemistry. I'm sure there are plenty of subjects that a small minority of people care deeply about, but that you couldn't care less about. That's just how life is...the more specialized you get, the less you can relate to others.

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Absolutely agree with A03.  There aren't an abundance of jobs waiting for graduating chemistry majors, like there are with some other degrees.  It's the same with most of the physical sciences.  I have a buddy with a bachelor's degree in Physics, and in 15 years since he graduated, he's taught English and been a beer brewer.  He'd have to get a masters at least, and most likely a doctorate, in order to get a good research job within his area of study.

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3 hours ago, Avaholic03 said:

Perhaps it was wrong to say it will get you "nowhere", but it's still not a final step to a lucrative career. It's a stepping stone. That isn't usually the case with engineering. Maybe that's why you and engineering students don't see eye to eye.

You asked why people don't major in chemistry, I gave you the answer to the best of my knowledge. I'm sorry if you can't agree with how some people feel about chemistry. But you have to realize that your passion for chemistry is an outlier, even among science-based majors. It's really a small minority that has passion for chemistry. I'm sure there are plenty of subjects that a small minority of people care deeply about, but that you couldn't care less about. That's just how life is...the more specialized you get, the less you can relate to others.

Woah woah woah. Back the trolley up a second can we?  I'm confused. Either I'm not communicating well or you're reading too much into my post. All I meant to do was defend a chemistry degree...technically an undergraduate bachelor of science degree....by saying it's a stepping stone degree that opens up many doors for a variety of careers. Most undergraduate degrees are like that, except the professional programs like nursing, engineering, and business. 

99.9% of my students are taking first year chem because they have to. I know that at least 95% of my students are going to dislike chemistry and am perfectly fine with that. I hated physics and always will. It just wasn't my thing.  It doesn't bother me in the least if people don't share my love of chemistry.  I expect them not to.  I find it off-putting that you said I can't agree with how others feel about chemistry. 

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22 hours ago, AvsJen said:

It doesn't bother me in the least if people don't share my love of chemistry.  I expect them not to.  I find it off-putting that you said I can't agree with how others feel about chemistry. 

Well, when you complain about your students not wanting to read the labs and wanting to do things the lazy way, it comes off as if you expect them to be enthusiastic about the subject. Most of them aren't, which is why they're seeking ways to put in minimal effort. That's what happens when you don't particularly care about a subject. I expect that you can't really relate to their feelings about chemistry because you are interested enough in the subject to make it your career.

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2 hours ago, Avaholic03 said:

Well, when you complain about your students not wanting to read the labs and wanting to do things the lazy way, it comes off as if you expect them to be enthusiastic about the subject. Most of them aren't, which is why they're seeking ways to put in minimal effort. That's what happens when you don't particularly care about a subject. I expect that you can't really relate to their feelings about chemistry because you are interested enough in the subject to make it your career.

I wasn't complaining. Or didn't mean to be. I was simply asking how much reading engineers do in their careers since I don't know the full ins and outs of the engineering profession, and the past few groups of my engineering students seem to think they won't have to read when they're out in the real world. I was looking for advice so I can reply with educated responses. 

I do not expect my students to be enthusiastic about chemistry. As I've said, I expect the vast majority of them not to be. What I expect is for them to be able to read the lab procedure to find some of the answers to their questions. I want to see some effort on their part. You can hate and/or struggle with a course and still show some effort. Instead of asking "can this go down the sink??" read the bolded waste disposal box in the lab that tells you what to do with the waste.  It's not like I'm asking them to read chem textbooks for fun :P

I can relate to their feelings. I've been working with first year students for 12 years. I know I'm significantly older, but I know how they think, I know how they work. I know all to well the struggles they can have and do my best to make their first year chem lab experience as painless as possible.  All I want to see from them is that they care enough to try to pass. 

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