In 1951, the National Society of Professional Engineers began the celebration of National Engineers Week. Considering his survey work, President George Washington is known as the country’s first engineer and, as is fitting, his birthday is commemorated in the midst of this notable week. Engineers Week is an opportunity to “celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers, and to bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents” (DiscoverE).
During this annual observance of Engineers Week last week, PCS held two open houses for parents of after-school students to investigate what their children had been building; many created impressive structures incorporating the workings of mechanical engineering, structural engineering, computer engineering, programming, and other exciting subject areas!
One of the most rewarding benefits of taking a career in engineering is that of being provided a space to think creatively. In an ordinary office setting, typical jobholders do not have the opportunity to engage in thinking “outside of the box” or to take part in developing solutions to open-ended, real-world problems. In engineering, however, there is an ongoing need to innovate, utilizing divergent and convergent critical thinking skills (a topic that was explored in last week’s blog post).
Currently, PCS offers a unique way for students and teachers to bridge that gap between concepts explored in the classroom and what a career in engineering might look like in the future: the Discover Engineering kit.
Discover Engineering utilizes a 3D Interactive Build Curriculum (3DIC), which allows users to move through build plans step-by-step a their own speed, and has the ability to highlight individual pieces for clarity. This kit covers topics like gear trains, power ratios, and complex machines. Although it is entirely educational, it is still fun and engaging for students, as they can construct models like trebuchets, cart launchers, transmission models, and so much more!
PCS is dedicated to growing future great minds, which means that there must be constant innovation in developing educational products. With National Engineers Week still fresh in mind, it is important to commemorate the contributions of so many significant engineers throughout history and to remember that the great intellectual giants were once curiously minded, impressionable young students themselves. This is precisely why PCS is committed to fostering STEM awareness while helping students have fun in the process!
DiscoverE. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2016, from http://www.discovere.org/our-programs/engineers-week