Technology

Purdue University's INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering tests toys for how well they develop STEM skills in kids.

Gift Guides

Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts This Year

These expert-approved gifts teach robotics, coding and engineering thinking through stories and play

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What the History of 'Spirit Photography' Portends for the Future of Deepfake Videos

Today’s video hoaxes can be downright ugly. But image-makers have been fooling viewers from the beginning

Poised on a Nevada salt flat, Alan Case, one of the world’s top practitioners of flight shooting, aims his custom-built bow, which requires so much strength to draw he must use his legs.

The Quest to Shoot an Arrow Farther Than Anyone Has Before

In dogged pursuit of an exotic world record, an engineer heads to the desert with archery equipment you can't get at a sporting goods store

The Van Gogh bike path in Eindhoven is inspired by the artist’s painting The Starry Night. Similar glow-in-the-dark paths and roads could eventually save energy for lighting while cooling cities.

Will Glow-in-the-Dark Materials Someday Light Our Cities?

Substances that persistently luminesce could be used in streets, sidewalks and buildings

LifeLab Design's WarmLife vests are 30 percent warmer than clothing of comparable weight and bulk.

Innovation for Good

This Apparel Company Wants to Have a Profound Effect on Your Energy Use

LifeLabs Design was founded by a pair of Stanford professors who have developed fabrics capable of cooling and warming the wearer

Real guppies respond to Robofish—a 3D-printed plastic model with a vaguely realistic paint job—as if it were a real schoolmate. Researchers used different-sized Robofish to show that guppy schools tend to follow larger fish.

How Scientists Are Using Robotic Animals to Learn About Real Ones

Biomimetic bots can teach researchers a lot about how creatures interact in the natural world

Researchers are hoping to decipher the communications of sperm whales.

Could We Chat With Whales?

An ambitious project is attempting to interpret sperm whale clicks with artificial intelligence, then talk back to them

An X-ray fluorescence scanner analyzes correspondence of Marie Antoinette and Fersen at France’s National Archives.

X-Ray Technology Reveals Marie Antoinette's Censored Secret Correspondence

A combination of the chemical analysis and advanced data processing used could reveal many more lost writings or drawings

Godfrey Hounsfield stands beside the EMI-Scanner in 1972.

Fifty Years Ago, the First CT Scan Let Doctors See Inside a Living Skull

The invention came from an eccentric British engineer who worked at a company now better known for selling Beatles albums

The National Weather Service Began as a Crowdsourcing Experiment

Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry used an army of volunteers in what would eventually become the nation's weather forecasting operation

Throughout the project, Beethoven’s genius loomed.

How Artificial Intelligence Completed Beethoven's Unfinished Tenth Symphony

On October 9, the work will be performed in Bonn, Germany, and a recording will be released

Ultrasound of a 4-month-old fetus

A Brief History of the Sonogram

In the mid-1950s, a Scottish obstetrician became the first to apply ultrasound technology to a pregnant human abdomen

Natural disasters do not destroy buildings evenly. By studying which fall and which are left standing, engineers can develop new strategies for the future.

When a Natural Disaster Hits, Structural Engineers Learn From the Destruction

StEER engineers assess why some buildings survive hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, and why others do not

The microCOVID project was started by a group of friends and housemates who wanted to be more equitable about safety precautions.

Innovation for Good

This Calculator Estimates Your Risk of Getting Covid-19

The online tool draws on recent data to approximate your chances of contracting the virus in different scenarios

Can a machine be taught to understand the plant world?

Innovation for Good

Is This Weed-Spotting, Yield-Predicting Rover the Future of Farming?

The robot, developed by Alphabet Inc.'s X, will make its public debut at the Smithsonian

Researchers with the Kivi Kuaka project are tagging a variety of Pacific birds, hoping they will reveal differences in their capacity to detect and respond to dangerous storms and tsunamis.

Can Birds Tip Us Off to Natural Disasters?

Researchers think birds can hear hurricanes and tsunamis—a sense they’re hoping to tap into to develop a bird-based early warning system

In this long exposure picture, trees burn on a hillside behind Honey Lake campground during the Dixie Fire on August 18, 2021 in Milford, California. The wildfire in Northern California continues to grow, burning over 626,000 acres according to CalFire.

Innovation for Good

From Supercomputers to Fire-Starting Drones, These Tools Help Fight Wildfires

As climate change worsens wildfires in the West, agencies are tapping into new technologies to keep up with the flames

Construction of multiple telescopes has begun on Saishiteng Mountain—near the town of Lenghu in the Qinghai province of China. The site could be China’s first major observatory, on par with those in Hawaii, Chile, and the Canary Islands.

Future of Space Exploration

Why the Tibetan Plateau Might Be the Ideal Spot for the Telescope of the Future

A team in China has identified a location that could give the Eastern Hemisphere its first major observatory

The researchers flew their fridge on parabolic flights to simulate a microgravity environment.

Innovation for Good

The Quest to Build a Functional, Energy-Efficient Refrigerator That Works in Space

Designed and tested by Purdue University engineers, this new appliance would lengthen the shelf life of food on long missions

Rain, waves, and seeping groundwater can destabilize seaside bluffs, making them prone to collapse.

The Science of Predicting When Bluffs in Southern California Will Collapse

Researchers are using lidar to better understand the erosional forces that cause oceanfront cliffs to crumble

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