I received this note indirectly from Dave Emerson of Yokogawa. He attended a “show” involving high school engineering students. Sounds like a very cool program. You can take whatever attitude you wish from reading popular media. But kids getting enthused about science and engineering do exist–and mentors helping them also exist. Here are some of Dave’s observations:
This past Sunday my local high school had an engineering expo. The school, with an enrollment of ~2700 in 4 grades, has an engineering program with over 200 students participating It even has a booster program like the sports teams do! It’s one of the few high school engineering programs in the country.
At the expo the kids were proud to show off their projects, I was impressed by how they could communicate the technical work behind them. From the solar powered car project (they plan to drive it to Denver next summer) to the underwater robot. There was a large crowd of parents and students attending, I met some families from other school districts who came to see the expo. The parking lot was packed, just like at a high school sports event. There were lots of colleges from across the country (Cal Berkeley, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, George Tech,…) and companies exhibiting. The kids in this program and the attendees don’t have a problem thinking that engineering is cool. These kids will be ready to excel in college and in careers.
just stumbled upon this post – we need more events like this. I really like what Dean Kamen has done with his "sports-like" engineering competitions. We should cheer on our kids when they figure out how to build robots as much as (or even more) when they make a 3-pointer.