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Celebrated by more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies, National Engineers Week calls attention to the contributions to society that engineers make throughout our communities.
It is celebrated each year in February near George Washington’s birthday, February 22. Many consider Washington to be one of the greatest early engineers as he was not only accomplished in surveying but in uncovering solutions to practical farming, construction, infrastructure, and military engineering problems as well as acting as an avid advocate for the future of engineering.
Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to design, evaluate, develop, test, modify, install, inspect, and maintain a wide variety of products and systems, and all advancements in engineering are the result of rigorous study, experimentation, creativity, and teamwork.
Although the work of engineers is evident in each rollout of a new technological product you see on TV or social media, many other kinds of advances go unnoticed because if they’re working, you don’t notice them. Some include:
protecting the world’s natural resources and enable them to be used more efficiently,
inventing new types of diagnostic medical scanners,
developing and improving upon methods for harnessing energy from alternative sources, and
designing and building safer, faster, quieter, more fuel-efficient transport solutions
Engineering has been broken into various numbers (typically 4–6) of basic categories of jobs, including mechanical, electrical, industrial, chemical, and civil; however the variety of career paths available to people seeking a career in engineering is far more vast.
Because there are so many options available to people considering engineering as a career, not only can the pursuit seem overwhelming but students may not know the extent to which engineering careers exist in our communities and how they might fit in.
In fact, according to the Discover Engineering website, most kids don’t know any engineers or technicians—or don’t know that they do! And if kids haven’t had the opportunity to engage one-on-one with the engineers in their lives, it’s likely they don’t understand what engineers do on a day-to-day basis.
To celebrate National Engineers Week, help the kids in your life experience the world of engineering. Kits designed to introduce kids to STEM concepts are a good place to start at home! To learn not only about the different kinds of engineering that make our world what it is today but to meet those people makes the field of engineering seem tangible, exciting, and possible to join!