Whenever we ask young people what they think engineers do, the #1 answer is usually “build bridges”.
The stereotype of engineers as bridge builders has been long standing!
Maybe it’s got something to do with the iron ring story – that the initial batch of Iron Rings was made from the beams of the first Quebec Bridge, a bridge that collapsed during construction in 1907 due to poor planning and design by the overseeing engineers.
I always like to ask our engineer volunteers “have you ever built a bridge?”.
The answer is usually “No!”.
At Engineers of Tomorrow, we do our best to help kids see that engineering goes far beyond “bridge building”.
Engineers help people.
Engineers solve problems.
Engineers turn ideas into reality.
They are building bridges for students to connect to the engineering profession in ways they never have before.
The EIR program is also building bridges between engineers and their profession. Talking to kids about the impact that you have on the world (as an engineer) is a great way to re-connect to the profession.
So, even though not every engineer is building physical bridges as a part of their job, they are crushing stereotypes, breaking down barriers and building bridges for kids to get to the engineering profession.