How did you learn engineering and process control? I learned electronics (and many other things such as playing guitar and changing brakes on an MG) through a parallel system of building circuits and studying theory–how to read schematics, do voltage and current calculations and the like.

Recently I had a conversation with Invensys Operations Management Vice President Peter Martin about the demise, yet the necessity, of experiential learning. I’m sure I’d have completed my EE if I could have built circuits along with learning the math and physics. I just lost interest. I wonder how many other potential engineers are lost because we’ve become a nation of book-learners (read and regurgitate) rather than a nation of builders.

Here is a Website, the Dumb Little Man, whose essay here is Why You Should Learn by Doing. Here are a few tidbits to whet your appetite:

  • You gain a better understanding of what it actually means to do the activity
  • You’ll know if you actually like the activity or not
  • You know what you can tweak
  • You get a deeper understanding of the subject
  • It promotes critical thinking
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