Getting Teens into Engineering
STEM is an extremely popular field of work and education, and engineering is proving to be one of its well-known areas. The American Society for Engineering Education writes that in 2018, there were approximately 2 million engineers in America alone. This shows just how many people there are in the field. Engineering is concerned with the merging of mathematical processes and scientific methods to create, design, and develop structures, systems, and machines that aid in society’s innovation. There are also many different areas under this field like Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering. This shows the wide array of specialties that people can take up.
Though it may seem like a challenging field to get into, it is possible. Engineers are an important part of society and getting teenagers interested in the field early would let them be able to hone their skills and continuously develop their capabilities as they grow. If you are trying to encourage teens with potential to go into engineering, here are some of the things you can do:
Enroll Them in an Engineering Program
If your child has expressed interest in engineering but you don’t know where to start, enrolling them in a program that specializes in it will give them a great head start. This can be done as an extracurricular activity, so it does not interfere with their other studies. An article on Online Science Training highlights how teachers are using blended learning techniques, combining traditional education with online learning, to make STEM more interesting and easier to understand. Math and Science can be difficult to study at times, but the integration of both practices with interactive strategies creates a better experience for both educators and students alike. If you want to encourage their interest in the field, this will be a great opportunity to do so.
Have Them Meet a Professional
The world of engineering can be very confusing for a newcomer, so having your child meet with an experienced professional is a good way to help them gain an understanding of the different areas and disciplines included in the field. They can learn about how every discipline interconnects with each other and what career paths they can take. Lee Ritchey discusses on the High-Speed Digital Design Podcast how he started as a microwave engineer before becoming an author and the founder of Speeding Edge, an engineering consulting and training company. Ritchey mentions how the opportunities he has had since starting out his professional career led him to have the renowned and influence he has today. Allowing a teenager to speak with an expert in the field may open their eyes to the many possibilities the field has to offer. Who knows, they just might land themselves a mentor.
Encourage Scientific Curiosity at Home
One thing that can detract teens from pursuing a certain interest is a lack of support. If your child is enthusiastic about engineering, do not shy away from encouraging them so satiate that curiosity. Michelle Balani notes in her article supporting teens’ curiosity, allowing teenagers to be curious can help them develop their interests. If your child is showing an interest in engineering, do not discourage them from learning more about it. Instead, let your home be a space where they can explore and cultivate their interest in engineering. Give them their own space and provide them with the tools and materials when possible. Let them have the space and opportunity to experiment and create passion projects at home.
Engineering can be varied and complex. If you want to encourage your child to pursue an interest in it, these are just some ways you might be able to entice them to take it up in the near or distant future.