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Posted July 16, 2021

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Engineers of Tomorrow is a not-for-profit that is shaping the engineering narrative by telling better stories. 

How to talk to kids about engineering: a human-first approach

Secret’s out of the bag!

This is what we teach our volunteers.

When you step into the classroom to teach kids about engineering…first teach them about YOU – as a human!

Why?

We want the kids to be able to RELATE to you.

We’re not in the business of converting everyone kid we talk to into a budding engineer. Nope!

The goal: Create a positive experience. P.E.R.I.O.D.

You’ve got an awesome story to tell.

You’re a real life super hero.

As an engineer, you literally turn ideas into reality!

So we want them to be excited about YOU, as a person.

 

Once that connection is there. Once you’ve built some trust….THEN you can teach them something. Let them experience your engineering passion.

We promise…it’s contagious.

 IF you walk into the class an simply execute a spaghetti tower building activity, guess who’s going to get excited about it?

The kids who ALREADY like doing that kind of stuff.

But what about those other kids? The ones who want to think outside the box. The ones who want to challenge traditional ways of thinking. The ones who want to explore and express their creativity. Or, the ones who are bored because “what’s even the point of all of this??”!

Yeah – there’s a place for them in engineering too.

They’re the ones who aren’t getting that message!

 

Image above: actual spagetti tower built by a student doing remote learning with Mr. Caverley’s grade 7 Elementary Remote School in Upper Grand District School Board.

As a human, if you can connect with students first you have a better chance of helping them see how creativity, out of the box thinking, and innovation are a big part of engineering. You can explore how bridges help solve real world problems and why science and math are important tools that engineers use to help people everyday.

 

Spoiler alert….building trust and rapport with some of these students can take time.

 

It can even feel weird and uncomfortable for some people.

As engineers, I know you’re not afraid of doing hard things….amiright?!?

It’s also the reason that the Engineer in Residence program matches engineers with the same class for the entire school year.

It gives you to opportunity to connect with each and every student.

There’s no rush! It’s not a flashy “in-and-out” style of outreach.

It’s rooted in deep connections and culture change.

Not to mention….engineers design things for HUMANS. People working for people. Sometimes we forget that!

 

Want to learn more about the program and the work that we do?

 

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