One of the ways to celebrate the engineering profession, and inspire a child to consider an engineering career is to do hands-on engineering activities with students. To help you in your planning, visit the DiscoverE website:
- Order an Engineers Week Volunteer Kit
- Get tips and inspiration from the
recorded DiscoverE Engineers Week
- Browse the DiscoverE activity library
Formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation, DiscoverE helps unite, mobilize and support the engineering and technology volunteer communities. Further, it increases their collaborative footprint in K-12 education, as engineers celebrate with the public in discovering the value of engineering education and careers.
Discover Engineering Family Day Celebrates 26 Years
Public, family-oriented events at museums and science centers can also inspire on a large scale. On Saturday, 17 February, Discover Engineering Family Day will once again kick off Engineers Week in the National Capital region. Attracting more than 8,000 visitors annually, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Family Day will illuminate engineering to thousands of children, parents and teachers for the 26th time.
Designed to introduce children ages 4-12 to the wonders of engineering, this year’s event marks the 16th time the event will be staged at the National Building Museum, in Washington, D.C. Engineers from all areas of the profession will be available to share their love of the design-and-build processes of the profession.
Previous attendees have met an astronaut; watched an engineer ascend to the top of the National Building Museum; seen one of NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon’s racecars; and explored a Blind Driver Challenge Simulator from the National Federation of the Blind, among other exciting activities.
Launch Your Kids’ Futures
Future City, an engineering design competition for middle school students, attracts more than 40,000 participants each year. The competition’s finals bring together 37 region-winning teams from across the United States at the Capital Hilton, in Washington. The culminating on-stage event will be live-streamed on the Future City website. The top five teams will present their projects, and the judges will select the champion.
The competition challenges middle-school students to imagine, design and build cities of the future. After four months of designing a virtual city (using SimCity), researching, designing, and writing up their solution to a city-wide issue; and building a scale model of their city; the teams present their vision to a panel of judges. After the competition is over, student participants are not only prepared to be citizens of today’s complex and technical world, they are poised to become the drivers of tomorrow.
IEEE-USA sponsors the national Future City third-place award of U.S. $2,000. It also sponsored the Most Advanced Smart Grid Award in 2017, recognizing the team that incorporates smart grid technologies in a safe, efficient, and reliable way in its city’s design.
The Future City Finals take place on 20 February. In 2017, the team from West Ridge Middle School from Texas (North) won the 2017 Future City Finals with their city, Sociecity.
Inspire a Girl’s Future
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day will be held on 22 February, and is a worldwide campaign to educate girls about how engineers change our world and serve as role models. The event, also known as Girl Day, helps focus a growing movement to inspire girls’ futures, so they can learn they have a place in engineering a better world. In just one day, you can make a difference by sharing your knowledge, experience, and some fun! Give girls the chance to think like an engineer—you will be amazed at what you learn!
The Future is Now—the Global Marathon
The 2018 Global Marathon is a free opportunity to learn and engage with women in engineering and technology. This program is designed to fit into busy schedules. On 7 March through 4 April, the event will host six, unique, 30-minute sessions—each Wednesday, beginning at 12 p.m. (EDT/USA)—and re-broadcast on Thursdays in other time zones. Registration is open! (Each person who individually registers and attends at least one, full session will be eligible for an eGift card drawing.)
Dream Big is a first of its kind IMAX® and large screen film focused solely on engineering. A suite of activities and resources for teachers, volunteers and museums and accompanies the film.
Dream Big is, literally, a HUGE film. It is new film for IMAX® and giant screen theaters that will take viewers on a journey of discovery from the world’s tallest building, to a bridge higher than the clouds and a solar car race across Australia. The film shows more than the ingenuity behind these marvels—it reveals the heart that drives engineers to create better lives for people worldwide.
Get Involved—Inspire Wonder
Engineers Week is your time.
It is a call to recognize the people who create awe-inspiring wonders–like cloud-busting skyscrapers and human travel to Mars. Our lives would be very different without daily marvels like clean drinking water, computers and cars.
Engineers Week is a time for everyone to celebrate and wonder about the next big innovation. It is also a great opportunity for DiscoverE volunteers and educators to inspire students, by engaging them in hands-on engineering outreach. Show kids that their school subjects can help solve real problems. And, of course, encourage them to wonder: “Is engineering in my future?”
Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager; Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA E-BOOKS, Editor of IEEE-USA ConferenceBrief; and InFocus Department Editor for IEEE-USA InSight.