IEEE-USA in Action

2013 Engineers Week Preview: Start Making Your Plans Now!

By Nita K. Patel

The National Society of Professional Engineers created National Engineers Week in 1951.  It coincided with George Washington’s Birthday — no coincidence, since Washington, our 1st U.S. President, was a land surveyor and engineer.  An estimated 45,000 engineers around the country will participate in EWeek activities 17-25 February 2013, and will work with more than five million students and teachers in elementary through secondary schools, through classroom visits and extracurricular programs.

IEEE-USA needs your help to make National Engineers Week a success. In addition to supporting programs and activities during the upcoming EWeek 2013 celebrations, IEEE-USA will be the lead engineering society sponsor for EWeek 2014. Here’s a snapshot of the many different activities in which you can participate.

Future City Competition

Volunteer to help a local middle school participating in the EWeek Future City Competition. The Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience, where students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade imagine, design and build cities of the future. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCity⢠4 Deluxe software; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, D.C., in February. IEEE-USA’s Precollege Education Committee will be presenting a $1,000 prize to the Future City Team that offers the best communications system.

Students Participating in Future City:

  • Apply math and science concepts to real-world issues
  • Develop writing, public speaking, problem solving, and time management skills
  • Research and propose solutions to engineering challenges
  • Discover different types of engineering and explore careers options
  • Learn how their communities work and become better citizens
  • Develop strong teamwork skills

Discover Engineering Family Day

IEEE-USA sponsors the annual Discover Engineering Family Day, enjoyed by more than six thousand visitors to the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., every February during EWeek. Local engineering chapters and national organizations provide dozens of hands-on activities to feature at the festival for parents and children. Every year, at the start of Engineers Week, the impressive main hall of the National Building Museum is taken over by thousands of children of all ages–all experiencing the excitement of engineering, not to mention gumdrops, toothpicks and slime.

Introduce A Girl To Technology Day

For the past eleven years, women engineers have introduced more than one million young girls and women to engineering. More than just one day, Introduce a Girl to Engineering is a national movement that shows girls how creative and collaborative engineering is, and how engineers are changing our world. Volunteer to show a group of girls some demonstrations on engineering, or allow some young girls to tour your place of work, and interact with other engineers.

Global Marathon

The Global Marathon for, by and about Women in Engineering in Technology is a 24-hour “conversation,” done through a combination of live Internet chats, webcasts, teleconferences and pre-recorded sessions on issues for, by and about women in engineering and technology, and are accessible to a worldwide audience.


Originating from a different part of the world each day, this free, virtual conference is the only event of its kind connecting women in engineering and technology worldwide across a diverse range of disciplines, experience levels, ages, interests, backgrounds, cultures, industries and employers.

Each day features a live, hour-long webcast discussing seminal issues–such as clean water, clean energy and entrepreneurship. Prominent panelists from all parts of the world will offer a picture of what tomorrow can look like (dreams), projects and plans on how to achieve a better tomorrow (ideas), and concrete steps participants can take today (actions).

Other Ideas:

  • Contact a teacher or principal to speak at a local elementary, middle, or high school, and provide hands-on experiments relevant to engineering and careers.
  • Present a demonstration for high school science and math clubs.
  • Contact a middle- or high-school, and offer to have a student shadow you on the job
  • Open your college engineering lab for public tours.
  • Organize an extracurricular program for young students, such as a tour or competition. Build spaghetti bridges, race boats or design and build Rube Goldberg-like machines.
  • Contact your employer’s internal communications staff, and let them know when Engineers Week will occur. Present ideas for ways to celebrate the company’s achievements.
  • Enter news of your local activities on the database, and enter your name as a local contact.
  • Contact a high school guidance counselor. Offer to talk with students and provide Engineering & You brochures, or an Engineers Week video for the guidance office.
  • Participate in an engineering fair at a local college. Many engineering schools host such fairs during Engineers Week.
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper editor letting it know about the importance of engineering to your community, or adapt a former chair’s editorial to illustrate examples from your community.
  • Contact a local speaker’s bureau (try the Chamber of Commerce), and offer to speak before local civic and business groups.
  • Plan a special recognition luncheon in your office, and invite the CEO or chief technical officer to participate.
  • Wear an Engineers Week t-shirt or cap.
  • Order a National Engineers Week banner from a local sign store and display it at your workplace entrance.
  • Visit, and promote this site to middle school students.
  • Visit for useful information about great engineering achievements of the past 100 years.

    For additional information on how you can support IEEE-USA sponsoring National Engineers Week in 2014, please contact Chris McManes (

Nita K. Patel is IEEE-USA’s volunteer vice president of communications and public awareness.


Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button