We recognize excellence in engineering all year long here at EDUCATION INSIDER (including highlighting truly exception IAT Alumni engineers like surfer/entrepreneur Rex Moribe and biomedical engineer, Leslie Myint, and IT’S ABOUT TIME authors and engineer educators Missy Holtzer and Janet Kolodner.
But this week was extra special. This week kicked off the 64th National Engineers Week (a week-long celebration, usually coinciding with George Washington’s birthday, in recognition of how engineering, and awesome engineers, have shaped our world and helped humanity solve some of its biggest problems). With over 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and corporations around the world participating (not to mention government agencies here in the US), National Engineers Week has grown into a global event of significance not only because it recognizes the importance of engineering in our daily lives, but because it’s an opportunity to guide students into pursuing STEM subjects and careers in engineering.
Organized by DiscoverE (which helps to unite, mobilize, and support the engineering and technology volunteer communities so that they can support K-12 engineering education), Engineers Week this year (#eWeek2015) coincided with Girl Day 2015 (another DiscoverE initiative aimed at bringing girls into engineering) and included live events, informative and thought-provoking content by media outlets and educators, support from mega-corporations like BP Mobile and Chevron, contests and activities for students and thousands of tweets.
1. Engineering Week Resources and Activities by KQED
The crew over at KQED published a great roundup of Engineers Week resources that kept everyone in-the-know and offered great ideas for how anyone and everyone could participate in the week-long celebration. Broken down by grades (K-12), there are great suggestions and teaching tools here not only for Engineers Week, but for long after the week is over as well (you’ll want to bookmark this one!). Read the post HERE.
2. Women in engineering – a panel of BP engineers answer questions on Facebook
Quite a few major corporations also participated in Engineers Week 2015 by highlighting some of the ways they have been supportive of increasing the dialogue around engineering education. BP hosting an interactive Facebook discussion for students, Women in engineering – a panel of BP engineers answer questions on Facebook, featuring women engineers answering questions about their profession for curious college students. Panelists included Nicole Rocha (controls and automation engineer), Kendra Pickard (subsea engineer), Julia Hatridge (projects control engineer). Their answers are insightful, honest and thought-provoking. Read the full interview HERE.
3. NFOGRAPHIC: 10 Reasons to Love Engineering
There are far more than ten reasons to love engineering, but this short-list of 10 Reasons to Love Engineering by DiscoverE will wet anyone’s appetite to want to learn more about engineering! Bet your students can come up with ten more reasons easily! Click the image below to enlarge or download the infographic.
4. National Engineers Week Foundation’s Annual Future City Competition
Who doesn’t love a bit of healthy competition? The over 40,000 middle-schoolers who participated in this year’s DiscoverE Future City Competition certainly do! Here’s the gist of it from DiscoverE’s website: “Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCity™ software; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials.” The project-based challenge asks students to provide food to the populace, thousands of roads, bridges, and railways that are in need of repair — they also have to figure out the effective use of basic transportation construction materials. How’s that for real-world problems?! Visit the competition website for updates and great project ideas HERE.
5. RESEARCH: A Look at Job Prospects for Engineers During Engineers Week
The release of this new research by Experis (which offers global, professional resourcing and project-based workforce solutions to companies) is perfectly timed to coincide with the launch of Engineers Week 2015. The research report offers a sobering look at the engineer job market. For example, the report suggests that 40% of engineers looking for a new job want more in salary, and that the most in-demand engineers are electrical engineers, followed by manufacturing engineers and software engineers. Perhaps not as surprising, employers admit that they can’t find qualified engineer applicants for their open positions (46% say that a lack of applicants is an obstacle to hiring, followed by a lack of experience in those who do apply at 44%, and their lack of technical skills at 32%). While we celebrate the achievements of engineers and encourage kids to pursue engineering careers, this report is a must-read. Read the entire overview HERE. Download the infographic HERE.
5. The International Space Station Crew Celebrates 2015 Engineers Week!
Receiving a message from astronauts on the Space Station about the awesomeness of engineering would be enough to inspire anyone! The enthusiastic message was delivered (sans gravity) by Navy Capt. Butch Wilmore, Expedition 42 Commander and Air Force Col. Terry Virts, Expedition 43 Commander:
“We join with all the volunteers from engineering societies and professional organizations all across our nation, stimulating interest in math and science among our youth. Engineering is at the heart of NASA. We’re living onboard one of the most complex engineering marvels ever built by mankind, and without the engineers that came before, we wouldn’t be here. And for the young engineers to come, we’re getting ready to go out and explore the solar system, and you can be the ones to get us there. For the engineers living and working in America every day, we appreciate what you do to keep us safe up here, and to keep our families secure at home, and to contribute to the economic vitality of our nation, and to make the technological progress for the benefit of all people on Earth. “
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