This year’s theme for National Engineers Week is ‘Dream Big’, and it really embodies what the engineering profession is all about. Engineering is about taking a small idea, building upon it and transforming it into a reality. Engineers engage their creativity and technical know-how to transform dreams into reality.
Here are three ways that you can encourage the students of today, and our engineers of tomorrow, to Dream Big.
Introduce Students to Engineering
While at first glance, this suggestion sounds simple enough, the truth is that many students do not know an engineer. How can they be motivated to pursue a profession without any exposure to it? So whether you are a teacher or parent, take the time to not only explain the engineering field, but introduce your child or students to an engineer. An engineer will be able to explain what they do and answer any field-specific questions.
Engineering by nature is a hands-on field. While there are indeed many theories to learn, the most engaging way of teaching engineering is to let students get their hands “dirty”. Hands-on activities engage different parts of the brain, help foster a love of the discipline all while encouraging a growth mindset.
Take a Walk around Town
Get outside and go for a walk. This gives you a chance to glance up at those tall buildings, gaze upon the city parks and revel in all things engineering. Without engineering all of the things you walk by would not exist. Engineers constructed those skyscrapers, they designed the cars zooming by and built those bridges you walk across. Examples of engineering can be seen everywhere you turn. Engage your child during the walk by asking leading questions and encouraging discussion.
Build Upon an Idea
Children are inherently creative and have many ideas floating around in their heads. Discuss the ideas that they have. Narrow their list of ideas down until you come to a single idea, and then pursue it. You don’t have to be an engineer yourself to do this.
For example, if your child has an idea for a cool and innovative product, you can:
- Research the industry together.
- Sketch out the idea (or design it in a CAD program).
- Build a prototype of the idea with household items.
- Share the idea and prototype with friends and family (anyone who will continue to encourage your child).
You never know, you might also learn something along the way.
The spirit of engineering is built upon curiosity and determination. Whether your child is currently interested in engineering or not, always encourage them to Dream Big. The bigger the dream, the fiercer the passion.
3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.
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