January President's Message - Kelly Doyle, P.E.
“There's nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind.” –Bill Nye
Education and outreach are very important facets of our profession to ensure we attract young people into engineering. Many K-12 students lose interest in math and science, especially in middle school, which makes them less inclined to study engineering in college. Although many people attribute this to low quality of teaching and preparation, this simply isn’t true. Instead, the K-12 science curriculum is highly disconnected from topics that are relevant to students’ daily lives and interest (Miaoulis, 2010). To mitigate this, there has been a recent push to increase STEM education for K-12 students. As someone who works in engineering education, I feel strongly that students can be easily engaged and excited about engineering through hands-on outreach activities.
The perfect opportunity for these types of activities occurs during Engineers Week, which is February 22-28, 2015. It is a time to celebrate engineering and increase awareness of the profession. This includes outreach to the public, kids, educators, and parents. The university will be celebrating E-Week with many on-campus events hosted by the various engineering clubs (including our own ASCE Student Chapter).
The branch is also participating in outreach activities outside of E-Week. First, we have visited several high school career fairs in the past few months to talk to students about engineering. Second, The Younger Members will be making several visits to ACE High School—a local charter school that focuses on building trades, CAD, and other emerging technologies—and giving presentations about engineering. This is designed to inform students about engineering, engage them with various activities, and encourage them to pursue engineering as a career option. There is still a lot of room for expansion of these activities within out branch, and I would be very excited to get more people involved with engineering outreach. If you are interested in any of these activities, I would love to hear from you.
Kelly Doyle, P.E.
President, ASCE Truckee Meadows Branch
Miaoulis, I. 2010. “K-12 Engineering – the Missing Core Discipline.” In Holistic Engineering Education, p. 37. Ed.
Domenico Grasso and Melody B. Burkins. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.