Engineers continue to struggle to find a place in the public eye. Our profession is generally misunderstood, and our contributions underemphasized. As a self-governing association we have an obligation to inform and educate the public about our great profession, and make people aware of our role as enablers in this society.
We have to shine the light on the inner workings of our professions, and bring into focus what engineering means to every aspect of our lives. With this in mind, it is our reaffirmed goal to promote engineering and the importance of continuing education to today’s students.
We have to present ourselves as leaders in our society by making ourselves visible and available to the next generation. We can only impart our shared values as engineers by engaging youth and cultivating in their minds that ours is the profession of choice. They need to know who we are, and begin to identify themselves with us.
Our education mandate is not only to teach engineering, but also to teach what it means to be a professional engineer, what it is to hold the vows of an iron ring, to be entrusted with the safekeeping of society, and the hardships that come with doing what is right. Our education outreach mandate is to pass down the quality of our profession to youth through volunteer activities within our community.
To fufill this mandate we need to move beyond the traditional, and find innovative ways to engage youth. We will look for opportunities to partner with other youth-oriented organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters or Visions of Science, and assist them in their programming so that we give back to our community. We will also look for ways to incorporate youth into our programming such as field trips or seminars, which makes us available to our community.
Some of our education efforts include, but are not limited to:
- School visits/presentations
- Career days
- Science Fairs
- Field Trips
- Writing Contests
- Sports Events i.e. a Chapter sports team that plays high school students
- Volunteering at Breakfast programs or After-school programs. Homework clubs, reading circles
- Volunteering with Special Interest Groups such as at-risk youth, women in engineering, etc.
- Volunteers will also be called upon to drive special projects such as fund raising. i.e. we have a golf tournament and donate the proceeds to a youth organization that one of our volunteers work with.
We have a clear list of objectives to meet our goals, and our biggest resource will be volunteers. We are currently developing a database of volunteers, listing their specialities and specific interests. Through these contacts we will be able to network with other resources and provide our services.