Engineers Week kicked off Sunday, and as you would expect, this year’s celebration will be drastically different from previous years due to the pandemic. However, one thing has not changed, the mission to connect students with engineers, tell their stories and celebrate all that engineers do to improve the world.
DiscoverE, a largely volunteer organization, coordinates Engineers Week. The group works tirelessly to build upon its mission and ensure that students know what engineers do in the real world that positively affects them and their communities. DiscoverE depends on their volunteers’ efforts to go to local schools and engage with students throughout the school year, particularly during Engineers Week. These talks and numerous other activities during Engineers Week help the students better understand what type of work engineers do and the different types of engineers while dispelling misconceptions about the work.
Due to the pandemic, most of this year’s activities are being held virtually, which makes the work of engaging with students and getting them excited about engineering even more challenging. However, DiscoverE has numerous tools on their website that are available free of charge to help anyone, educators and parents alike, successfully introduce students to engineering. For example, tools like At Home Engineering provides engineering exercises that kids can do at home. Each activity is geared toward a specific age group and engineering discipline. There are also articles to help parents get their kids set up to perform some of the exercises.
With a critical and growing shortage of engineers in the U.S., more young students must be exposed to engineers and careers in engineering. According to DiscoverE, nearly three-quarters of educators that were surveyed reported that their students do not have many opportunities to meet engineers. Engineers Week gives everyone in the field an opportunity to change that.
However, it is only one of the awareness events that DiscoverE sponsors. If you would like access to resources that will help you get involved with Engineers Week, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, or World Engineering Day, visit DiscoverE’s website at http://discovere.org/.