Maribeth Keitz, National Academy of Engineering posted a question on "Community Canvass"

PostedFriday, February 26, 2016 at 2:33 PM

What are your thoughts on covering engineers like celebrities?

Watch the new Covering Engineers like Celebs video. Tell us what you think.

3 Answers
  • Linda Kekelis , Linda Kekelis Consulting
    Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 12:48 PM
    I like the video and don’t mind confessing that I also like pop culture TV programs like E! Entertainment. There is something rather addictive about how pop culture uses fast-paced features to draw us in to what’s happening. I think what we need is MORE and DIFFERENT, many more efforts and more diverse approaches through social media to get the word out about what engineering is and who does engineering. There is no one-size-fits-all approach since so many different kinds of people are needed to do engineering. 
    
    What I would like to see are opportunities for youth to be involved in the design and testing of different approaches that showcase engineering to find out what works for them. Let’s provide opportunities for kids from different backgrounds to use the design process to make engineering accessible and inviting to them.
    
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  • Elizabeth Parry , Elizabeth Parry Consulting
    Posted Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:03 PM
    I loved this video, and love the work Viterbi does to promote engineering.  In today’s digital environment, this is a great and approachable way to share what engineers can do.  
    
    I believe a great need for our society is to use the word “engineering” down to preschool, and talk about it as both a verb (doing engineering) and the noun (becoming an engineer).  I fear that use of the generic  STEM doesn’t help the general public to understand that engineers are behind every human designed and made technology they use to live, work and play.  Rather, we dilute engineering in formal schooling by defining it narrowly as applied science, or something only people who love math and science do, or as a synonym for “build”.  
    
    Pop culture, digital media, and engineers themselves can be effective tools to increase public understanding of the nature of the field; the creativity, problem solving, persistence and collaboration all necessary to develop the best and broadest solutions to the problems our society faces.  So whatever tool catches the eye--and ear!--needs to be employed often and early!
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  • Posted Friday, February 26, 2016 at 4:26 PM
    Very cool video that takes a fun approach to spark conversation around a serious societal issue. Got to love the Andrew Viterbi reference at the end.
    
    Pop culture is a tough nut to crack. Public perception is volatile at best. I think that we should focus on educating children to recognize and appreciate engineering achievements and advancements. I don't think we want children to look at engineers the same way the public looks at pop culture personalities. Engineering is exciting and fun but it is also purposeful and sincere.
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