It’s National Engineers Week, or EWeek for short, and one of the goals of EWeek is encouraging engineers to volunteer year round to inspire youth to be engineers. These days, it seems much easier said than done…
As engineers, we need to be asking ourselves, “What can we do for our profession?” The biggest impact we can have is constantly being an advocate for engineering, especially to our youth. Why?
For the last decade interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) has been climbing and currently about 1 in 4 high school students are excited about a STEM major or career. However, recent surveys also show that 60% of students who enter high school interested in STEM change their minds by graduation.
That’s too bad, because STEM careers are expected to grow more than 20% by 2018, which is TWICE the rate of the US labor force growth. Right this minute, there are half a million unfilled STEM jobs in manufacturing! It’s almost impossible to fathom that at a time of high unemployment, companies can’t find enough STEM-trained job candidates.
You know what happens when supply doesn’t keep up with demand…$$$$$….name your price!
My passion is STEM education. I have given presentations to kindergarteners, middle school engineering clubs, high school STEM classes, and college-level Intro to Engineering courses.
I’ve hosted students for job shadowing and hosted them at my project sites to show them why rain gardens provide better treatment of rainfall runoff than a flat dry detention basin.
In all of these cases, what I stress the most is that as engineers we make a positive impact on the world on a daily basis. I ask them what impact do they want to have? What legacy do they want to leave behind? How are they going to change the world?
My parents taught me you don’t have to be a superhero to save the world – you just need the ambition to make a difference. What can YOU do? Go tell someone how awesome it is to be an engineer!