I spent some time at the AIA convention with David Walker, the managing director of Dyson, the company that makes AirBlade hand-dryers (as well as bladeless fans and vacuum cleaners). He told me that the company's founder and chairman, James Dyson, had been in Chicago in the first week of May, launching the James Dyson Foundation's efforts in the United States to promote engineering literacy. The foundation will work with the Chicago public school system to show kids that engineering is a discipline in which art and science, creativity and analysis come together. Starting with the 2011/2012 school year, the foundation will establish engineering clubs at 20 public schools and then will help train teachers to teach the subject. The foundation has been active in Britain for a number of years, supporting engineering education and running programs such as the James Dyson Award and Design Heroes. You can check out the organization by going to http://www.jamesdysonfoundation.com/