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Engineer the future in February

When: Feb. 19-25

What: Professional engineers have a career with enormous potential, with some of the highest paying salaries and most stable jobs in the U.S. Becoming an engineer requires serious academics, with an emphasis on developing not only strong math and science skills but a curiosity and fascination with how things are put together and work. Give children a bright future by emphasizing engineering education during National Engineers Week, held on Feb. 19 to 25.

Background: National Engineers Week was first started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers. The week is held on the third full week of February each year, in recognition of former President George Washington’s birthday. The first president is also remembered as one of the U.S.’ first engineers for his surveying and agricultural planning work. Since its founding, the week has highlighted the importance of engineers to American society, as well as how an early education emphasizing math and science can give children a fulfilling future. During the week, specific days will focus on an issue, such as “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” This day, for example, attempts to address the gender disparity in engineering jobs by reaching out to girls and showing them that women make great engineers too.

Story Pitch: National Engineers Week presents a great promotion opportunity for many industries and companies. Tech and software companies rely on computer engineers for their most popular products, and can share how they make important strides in the industry. They are also able to recognize ways they’re bringing more expertise into this newer field of engineering, highlighting their education and outreach programs for young engineers. Companies that rely on more traditional engineers, such as manufacturers, or civil engineers may also educate the public on how their products or engineering projects are improving lives. Engineering schools at universities have a great chance during the week to attract new students to their programs and help educate young people on the advances and opportunities in the field. Engineering societies may support the week by educating the public on why engineering is vital to a healthy society and ways young students can receive a better education in math and science.

Story Hook: While many college graduates are entering the job market at a tough time, young engineers can often look forward to a bright career path. Several engineering fields are expected to continue experiencing job growth, and starting salaries for engineers are among the highest of all occupations. With so many possibilities in the engineering field, there is a major educational push to give young students the math skills and scientific background needed to excel and innovate in the future. How are pioneering schools helping students get the education they need in these fields? Should more of the school day be devoted to learning math and science? How do learning these topics help students who aren’t interested in becoming an engineer? Consider the following as you make your pitch:

  • How satisfied are engineers with their careers?
  • Engineering isn’t a common subject in grade school education. How can children curious about the field get involved with age-appropriate activities?
  • What are current educational standards for math proficiency, and how do they rank with the rest of the world?
  • What is the most popular field of engineering? What field is expected to grow the most in the coming years?

Tips: An engineering professor from a local university is a great contact who can talk about what is required to become an engineer, as well as what types of work one does. Additionally, a professional engineer whose work has made a significant improvement on a local community is another good contact to speak about the importance of engineering.

Resources:

ASME
(800) 843-2763
infocentral(at)asme.org
www.asme.org

IEEE
(800) 678-4333
www.ieee.org

National Academy of Engineering
(202) 334-3200
www.engineeringchallenges.org

National Engineers Week Foundation
www.eweek.org

National Society of Professional Engineers
(703) 684-2800
www.npse.org

Society of Women Engineers
(877) 793-4636
www.societyofwomenengineers.swe.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Kristina Elliott
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