It’s National Engineers Week, and an Iowa company loaded with professional engineers will try to get schoolkids interested by taking their message to the mall in Cedar Rapids. Engineers will be on-site with “neat, fun” hands-on activities for the students and on Thursday high-school students at a Career Guidance Dinner can talk one-one-one with engineers. Rockwell Collins spokeswoman Nancy Craig says some activities will be at the “Science Station,” a Cedar Rapids building that was a firehouse till 1985. Rockwell Collins, which makes electronic equipment for commercial and military aviation, has been involved in Engineers Week for at least a decade, and Craig says engineers try to show kids with demonstrations how interesting their career can be.Some may bring a project from work but many have hands-on activities to get students involved in problem-solving so they’re thinking like an engineer. Craig says the world needs more engineers, but the field has an image problem.She says they don’t see in on TV, “there’s no sitcom about an engineer” and they don’t hear it about day to day, so unless it’s presented to them they aren’t going to learn much about engineering. Craig says they tell students there’s just about nothing that an engineer hasn’t worked on. Their Nike shoes and basketball hoop, even the food they eat, all involved work by engineers, and she explains that while “scientists” may get credit for identifying problems, engineers solve those problems. For more information on engineering week and activities near you. surf to www.eweek.org.
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