Breadth and Diversity of Transportation Careers Requires Us to Dream Big During Engineers Week 2017

Inspiring the employees of the future to pursue careers in transportation requires not just career awareness but it also requires that we change existing perceptions about the field. Engineers Week February 19-25, offers an excellent opportunity to remind students, parents, and educators, that building and construction projects involve a wide variety of occupations from planners, construction workers, geologists, environmental experts, and hydro-geologists. As we celebrate the engineering feats in the world around us during Engineers Week, we can also consider all the people, technologies, and supply chains that make these possible.

A perfect example of this type of broad-based approach, is the giant screen movie, Dream Big: Engineering Our World, created in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers by Bechtel Corporation. More information about this event and where it will be screened in the Midwest can be found on the Dream Big film’s website.

Not only does the Dream Big film explore the broad field of engineering, but the makers have produced educational materials, exhibits, and curricula around the project, making this a game-changing strategy for workforce development professionals and educators.

Each state in the MTWC region celebrates engineering in its own way. You can find activities designed to inspire and educate young people about their career options in the MTWC Clearinghouse searchable database. Information on Engineers Week events can be found on the Discover-e website.

For the Midwest, we’ve compiled a short list of events for each state:

Illinois

With multiple events throughout the week, the Chicago Architecture Foundation Engineering Festival has a number of hands-on activities for kids and families. This year, they will explore Chicago’s iconic movable bridges with free activities for ages 5–12. https://www.architecture.org/experience-caf/programs-events/detail/engineering-fest/

At the Peoria Riverfront Museum, guests are invited to enjoy the Engineering Day Free Day! and other activities including a bridge building contest this weekend, February 18 and 19. https://www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org/posts/700

In Wheaton, the Illinois Institute of Technology is providing provide hands-on activities for children and students of all ages (primarily in grades K-8) to explore science, technology, engineering and math in the DuPage Area STEM Expo on February 25. Over 50 displays, presentations, and projects will be featured. https://appliedtech.iit.edu/events/2017/feb/25/dupage-area-stem-expo-2017

Indiana

The IEEE Central Indiana Section is teaming up with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to offer National Engineers Children’s Day on February 25. The program combines hands-on activities and the ability to interact with engineers of various disciplines. http://www.cis-ieee.org/eweek/

In Michigan City, the Dream Big…and Engineer On event will introduce the fun world of engineering to local youngsters with activities focused on kids aged 2 to 8 on February 23 at the Michigan City Public Library. https://www.facebook.com/events/814122088726555/

Iowa

Iowa State University College of Engineering is celebrating Engineers Week 2017 with events including a scavenger hunt for a golden calculator, E-Lympics, and Technology Night. https://www.facebook.com/isueweek/

In Waterloo, celebrate how engineers make a difference in the world during Museum Madness at the Imaginarium on February 25. https://www.groutmuseumdistrict.org/calendar/museum-madness-national-engineers-week–hawkeye-community-college-through-the-ages-D02252017.aspx

Kansas

A little later this year, for two days in March, the University of Kansas School of Engineering will open its doors for elementary and middle school students to explore the world of engineering during the KU Engineering EXPO. https://engr.ku.edu/esc/expo

Michigan

Michigan Tech is hosting Engineering Exploration Day for Middle and High School Girls on February 25. https://events.mtu.edu/event/engineering_exploration_day_for_middle_and_high_school_girls#.WKSiUjsrKbg

Minnesota

The Engineering Career Information Night for middle and high school students in Savage will be hosted by the Prior Lake High School Robotics Team KING TeC, in collaboration with the Prior Lake High School Guidance Office and Mankato State University. During this event, a panel of engineers will provide insights to a career in engineering and answer questions from the audience on February 23, in the Prior Lake High School auditorium. https://kingtec2169.com/engineering-career-information-night/

Crack open old electronics, use candy to learn about biomedical technology, explore squishy, slimy, and cold substances, and more. It’s all part of the fun at The Works Museum’s annual Tech Fest event on February 25. With dozens of hands-on activities and demos this event lets families learn more about what engineering is and see how it’s everywhere around us. https://theworks.org/tech-fest/

Celebrate Engineers Week by making a puppet in the Engineering Elastic Puppets event. At this event at the St. Anthony Library on February 25, you will learn about elasticity, and then create and decorate your very own puppet out of string and straws. https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/events/581b66e45d375c0100ecdd9a

Missouri

Spark your curiosity at the annual series of weekend expos in SciFest 2017 at the Saint Louis Science Center. Meet local scientists, engineers and other experts for a behind-the-scenes look at real science. http://www.slsc.org/SciFest#sthash.17pvpWXl.dpuf

Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering & Applied Science is celebrating Engineers Week 2017 with multiple events throughout the week. https://engineering.wustl.edu/current-students/Pages/Engineers-Week.aspx

The Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Ozarks Chapter is hosting Discover Engineering Day at The Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development in Downtown Springfield on February 18. http://www.osteam.org/calendar/2017/2/18/discover-engineering-day

Ohio

The Central Ohio STEM Expo is a free educational outreach event for students grades K-8 that will feature fun, interactive activities and exhibits in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Participants will have the opportunity to get reduced price admission to explore the rest of the COSI facility that day as well as to watch Dream Big: Engineering Our Worldhttp://centralohioasce.org/2017_STEM_Expo

Wisconsin

STEM Forward’s 64th Annual Engineers Week Banquet & Awards Ceremony is a celebration of excellence in STEM as the Engineer of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, and Spirit of STEM Awards are presented. http://www.stemforward.org/engineers-week-banquet-1/

In April, the University of Wisconsin will host its annual Engineering EXPO 2017. Registration is now open for this two-day, student run event, which typically attracts 10,000 visitors to the university campus. Cash awards are given out to exhibitors comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, and student organizations. Registration for exhibitors is open now! http://engineeringexpo.wisc.edu/