Our world is ever-evolving as new technologies and processes are developed to resolve issues and simplify tasks. These new developments and inventions are often credited to engineers, but what is an engineer?
By pure definition an engineer is ‘the maker of an engine’. The word engine comes from the Latin word ingenium meaning ‘clever invention’. Thus an engineer is the maker of a clever invention. While there are numerous types of engineers, they all creatively apply what they know about mathematics, science, and technology to develop new ideas, processes, and products. Additionally, they utilize critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and teamwork in the process.
While young children may not be able to wrap their minds around all of the scientific and technical knowledge needed to pursue a career as an engineer, it is never too early to introduce them to engineering concepts and practices. Children have an innate sense of wonder making them natural engineers. As parents and educators, we can nurture this awe and curiosity to fuel learning through investigation and design. By providing youth opportunities to explore engineering, we enhance their creativity and boost their confidence.
Additionally, through engineering activities we have the opportunity to develop a variety of soft skills that are used in engineering as well as a variety of other fields. Engineering activities foster problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills.
For ideas to engage and inspire youth in engineering check out these resources:
- Design and Discovery
- Design Squad Nation
- Discover e
- Engineering is Elementary
- Engineer Your Life
Engineers Week: February 18-24, 2018
February 18–24, 2018, Engineers Week, is an opportunity to ‘Inspire Wonder’ in our youth and celebrate the contributions that engineers make within society. Across the nation, activities and events are held in order to educate the public on what engineering is and to emphasize the importance of learning science, math, and technological skills. To learn more about Engineers Week, visit the Discover e website.