My daughter, Lara, served as an intern this Summer at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, testing and developing the next generation of LEGO Robotics. Her lab notebook is a daily blog, which includes a complete video record of all devices she's built.
Her final project and my Cool Technology of the week (I admit the conflict of interest in presenting my own daughter's work as a Cool Technology on my blog) is a mobile robot that traverses a garden, inserts a sensor into the soil, measures the moisture level in realtime, and selectively applies water as needed.
It's fully functional and demonstrated in these videos.
The interesting personal side effect of her engineering Summer was a life choice.
She has been debating a fork in the road - Environmental Science/Studies at places like Connecticut College/Middlebury or Environmental Engineering at places like Tufts/Dartmouth. Both are admirable careers. The Summer has led her to the pursuit of engineering. Per a recent article in the Boston Globe, environmental engineering will be one of the top 30 jobs by 2018, about the time Lara will be seeking employment. I will support whatever she decides, knowing that life will have many forks ahead for her two brains to explore.