Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Engineering Resources

Engineering is a very important career for our world, yet enrollment in engineering programs is decreasing, especially by American students. I was an Aerospace Engineer (WPI '92) for 10 years before becoming an educator and I try to encourage my Physics students to go into engineering. I am also a CPEP teacher. CPEP is an after school program in CT for students interested in engineering. CPEP provides curriculum and materials to give students hands-on project experience.

Local companies are also a great resource for educators. Have engineers come in to your class and talk about what they do. Take a field trip to the company's facility. I am lucky to have Sikorsky Aircraft nearby. The engineers are really good about coming into schools and the company loves to have groups come in for a tour. Some smaller companies in the area have also been great resources, including Alinabal.

I have compiled a list of engineering resources for educators. Each of these sites have information about engineering, the career, and educational resources. I have found them all to be great resources. One not on the list is NASA. NASA also has great educational resources, many of which are geared towards engineering.

Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Engineers - great information about the career, job outlooks, salaries, and more.

American Society for Engineering Education - great resource with information about all types of engineering, educator resources, and more.

Engineering - Go For It! - this site is produced by the ASEE (see above) and is completely devoted to promoting engineering. It has resources for educators and students, as well as lessons and career exploration resources.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics - has resources for aerospace engineering careers. Educators can join for free and get even more resources.

Society of Automotive Engineers - has resources about engineers dealing with the automotive industry.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer - resources about engineers in the electronics and electrical engineering.

Engineering Challenges - this site lists and explores the greatest challenges facing engineers in regards to world issues. This is a great site to use as a starting point for your own classroom projects.

Discover Engineering - another great site that explores engineering as a career.

Connecticut Resources:

CT Business and Industry Association - CBIA has an education section. They have a great resource about Engineering. The site also has videos you can show to your students.

Next Generation Manufacturing Center - this is a cooperative group of manufacturers, CBIA and CT's Community Colleges. They work to get more students interested in engineering and manufacturing. There are some great videos on the site, too. They have a lot of great programs, including the Engineering Challenge. They also sponsor summer externships for teachers. These externships pay teachers to spend the summer at a local manufacturing company learning about their industry and coming up with ways to get more students involved in engineering and manufacturing. I was able to participate two years ago and found it to be a great experience.

Please share any resources you have and spread the word to your students about engineering. Even the President has said that students should avoid careers as lawyers and accountants, and instead look at engineering, science, and education.


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