I was shocked by a conversation I had recently with a young engineer. She was telling me that as a high school student, she was intimidated by engineering and insanely scared that she didn’t have what it takes for the program or career!
You read that right.
There are still people out there that don’t think that engineering is accessible to them.
Now, fortunately, this particular person persevered and followed through to become an engineer (maybe she had an EIR mentor 😜).
But, we know that’s not always the case.
We’re missing out on some great talent by making engineering seem inaccessible.
This is not about blaming or pointing fingers.
We want to focus on the actions that we can take NOW and the changes that we can make.
Small actions matter, and can add up to a big change.
So, what can you do?
Here’s our top 3 actions to make engineering more accessible.
- Volunteer yourself! Programs like the Engineer in Residence program had a significant impact on influencing perceptions. One interaction with a child who is “on the fence” about choose engineering could be all it takes to give them the courage to try.
- Already volunteering? Try implementing some of our engineering outreach hacks! We’ve worked with social scientists who have spent years studying the impact of STEM outreach. There are some SIMPLE tweaks that you can make to your approach to access a wider range of students.
- Fuel the work with funding! We work hard to make engineering experiences available to students free of charge! Thanks to the generous funding provided by sponsors, we are able to continue to improve access to students each year.
There are lots of ways to get involved and help to inspire the next generation of problem solvers and game changers. Love to hear your ideas on what else you can do!