Engineers Week: Bringing Every Child an Engineering Experience

What is Engineers Week? 

Engineers week is an initiative spearheaded by DiscoverE, focused on engaging students in engineering. In 1990, DiscoverE issued the first nationwide call to engineers to visit a classroom and introduce K-12 students to engineering by talking about their careers and doing hands-on activities. Every year focuses on a different theme, and this year’s theme is “Be a Pioneer of Progress by helping to create the next generation of innovators 

Why does it matter?

Engineers make significant contributions to our societyFrom the computers you use at work, to the roads you take to work, nearly every aspect of our modern-day lives has been touched by engineering. In order to advance into the future, we need the next generation of girls and boys to engage with engineering early on so they may become interested in pursuing a career in engineering. 

Not only is getting children interested in becoming engineers good for society, but it’s also great for the kids who decide to pursue a path of engineering. According to DiscoverE, 84% of educators say a visit from an engineer or technical professional helps students learn about engineering careers, which can encourage students to consider engineering as a career path.  

How OMEGA is Getting Involved: Volunteering with Junior Achievement Chicago 

The mission of engineers week and DiscoverE is to “Help give every child an engineering experience.” How do we accomplish this? By bringing engineers into classrooms!  

OMEGA partnered up with Junior Achievement of Chicago to visit Chicago Public Schools on March 4, World Engineering DayJunior Achievement of Chicago is a nonprofit focused on providing volunteer-delivered, kindergarten-12th grade programs that foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students in our community to dream big and reach their potential. 

On World Engineering Day, our engineers will be talking to students about what it’s like to be an engineer, why they chose the profession and then they’ll also be leading 6th through 8th-grade students through a hands-on activity to build a bridge using only straws and tape.  

The goal of the activity? Create a bridge that can span a gap of at least 25 cm and support as many pennies as possible—and create a bridge for students to consider engineering as a career! 

 

Why did our OMEGA Engineers Become Engineers?

Through the process of preparing for our volunteer event next week, we’ve been asking some of our engineers a question that’s been on our mind– “why did you become an engineer?” Here’s what they had to say. 

Matt Schramer, PE

“I had an interest in why things were built the way they were. I liked math and problem-solving and aptitude tests suggested engineering.”

Justin Weber, EIT

“I was always better at the STEM-related courses in school and I had a high school coach that I really looked up to that is a civil engineer.”

Ryan Macander

“I was inspired by my father who worked on many interesting and challenging projects as a civil engineer.”

Jacek Tyszkiewicz, PE

“In college, I found engineering more practical and interesting than architecture. My father was a surveyor and construction engineer for MDOT.”

Mike Wiater, PE

“I think I was a Junior in High School. I did pretty good in Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry class. My teacher was also one of my basketball coaches. He said I should consider engineering in college. I had no idea what an engineer was and wasn’t sure I was going to college but when I applied to college I had to put something down.”

Cody Gulla, EIT

“I was good at math and really like architecture. In high school, I took some CAD/drafting classes after which my dad pushed me in the direction of engineering. I’m glad he did! I also loved Legos as a kid, always wondered if that influenced my decision.”

Dan Lowery, PE

“I was drawn to engineering at an early age. As a child, I was always constructing and building new things around the house. My parents, seeing that I had a passion for creating new things, encouraged me to pursue a career in civil engineering.”

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