Engineers Week Great Time to Mentor Young STEMs


    National Engineers Week (EWeek) is an excellent time to talk to kids about engineering.

    EWeek this year is February 19-25, so you still have some time to think of ways to reach the kids in your community and get them excited about what you do.

    This year marks the 67th year of EWeek, which was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). In 1990, DiscoverE was launched as the first formal national call to engineer volunteers for engagement in K-12 education.Engineers Dream Big

    DiscoverE promotes Engineers Week as a time to:

    • Celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world
    • Increase public dialogue about the need for engineers
    • Bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents.

    Each year, EWeek reaches thousands of schools, businesses, and community groups across the U.S. According to the NSPE, EWeek today is a "formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. Dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers' positive contributions to quality of life, EWeek promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy, and motivates youth, to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce."

    Introduce a Girl to Engineering on "Girl Day"

    "Girl Day" on February 23rd is a worldwide initiative to introduce girls to the world of engineering. Thousands of people — engineers, teachers and others — serve as role models to educate girls about how engineers change our world. 

    According to a U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee report issued in 2012, the United States is not keeping up with the high demand for qualified workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Of particular concern in filling this demand is the gender, racial, and ethnic gaps among STEM workers.

    The study found that only 14 percent of engineers are women. Hispanic and black non-Hispanic workers account for only six percent of the STEM workforce. International comparisons suggest the United States is falling short in providing an adequate STEM workforce. One way to combat this shortage is to introduce more women and minorities to STEM fields from an early age.

    Get Involved

    Decide to talk to a kid or a classroom full of them this EWeek. Your local schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, after-school centers, and more would welcome the chance to hear about the fascinating world of engineering.

    Check out DiscoverE's Idea Starters and resources for some great suggestions. Then, take a look at their Online Catalog and Order Center for volunteer kits, an Engineers Week collection, books and DVDs, and items you can hand out in classrooms. You can even download a snazzy poster for FREE!

    What are your plans for Engineers Week? Shoot us an email and let us know!

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    Written by Lynette Rambo

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