Author
Shelley Latham Outreach Coordinator Linkengineering.org

Inspiring Wonder: How to Prepare for Engineers Week

PostedWednesday, January 24, 2018 at 8:44 AM

Inspiring Wonder: How to Prepare for Engineers Week

My 16-year-old daughter has a lot of strengths—she works well with others, is a good manager of group projects, stays focused on goals, and is a gifted artist in two and three dimensions. She has a desire to improve people’s lives and will occasionally admit to liking her advanced math class. When I suggested to her that these skills made her a good fit for an engineering career, she scoffed and said, “Engineering is boring.” Apparently, she met an engineer once and he was annoying. What’s a mother to do?  First, don’t blame the teenage girl who is merely echoing an often-repeated stereotype. Second, start gathering tools and resources to open her mind.

Luckily, Engineers Week is just around the corner, February 18-24. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Wonder” and that sounds like a great way to set the record straight on engineering. Started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, Engineers Week began as a way for members to educate the general public about the engineering profession. Sixty-seven years later the NSPE’s educational foundation, DiscoverE, makes the case for engineering to new generations of educators and students.

DiscoverE describes the goals of Engineers Week:

  • Celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world
  • Increase public dialogue about the need for engineers
  • Bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents

They have expanded their outreach to include a Girl Day (Feb 22) to introduce girls to engineering, Future City Competition, and Global Marathon to engage the imagination and interest of women and girls around the world.

DiscoverE

No matter where you are or what you do, there are many ways to support these goals in your community. Here’s what you can do to join in the fun and support PK-12 engineering education.

Educators can use Engineers Week to:

posters

Professional Engineers can Volunteer to be Engineers Week Ambassadors:

  • Visit the DiscoverE website to Get Started ideas include:

    • Visit a classroom or afterschool group.

    • Bring students to your workplace or college campus.

    • Mentor a group of students.

    • Host a DiscoverE Family Day.

    • Invite a student to shadow you at work.

    • Make a presentation about engineering at a middle- or high-school career day.

    • Volunteer as a judge for a science and engineering fair.

  • Use the LinkEngineering blog on mentoring to find opportunities to work with educators and students in your local schools and youth clubs.
  • If you have kids in school, tell the teachers and principal about Engineers Week and offer to visit the class to talk about what you do and offer to lead an activity.

Follow Along at Home:

LinkEngineering will be tuning in to what’s happening at our partner organizations during Engineers Week and will be reporting on our social media channels. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube I will be paying attention and doing my best to inspire my daughter with the wonders of engineering. Wish me luck!

And when Engineers Week is over, here are 9 ways to build on your experience. Let us know in the comments what you're planning this year.

 

Photo credit: Family Day, Engineers Week 2017 by US Corp of Engineers via Flickr/Creative Commons license.

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