Reinvigorating Interest in Transportation Occupations for Engineers Week 2018

This year for Engineers Week, the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center will be thinking about what it takes to build an engineering workforce that will be capable of maintaining the nation’s transportation infrastructure. What skills and knowledge will workers need over the next 5-to-15 years in order to be successful in light of the rapidly advancing technologies and data systems moving into the transportation sector?

Attracting young people to this field begins today and it begins early—in elementary, middle, and high school. Engineers Week is filled with events and activities to engage and inspire people to envision a career filling one of these important roles.

Each state in the MTWC region celebrates engineering in its own way. You can find Engineers Week events as well as other activities designed to inspire and educate young people about their career options in the MTWC Clearinghouse searchable database.

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

Illinois

The DuPage Area STEM Expo on Saturday, is a specialized event designed to promote the awareness of professional and educational opportunities provided among engineering and STEM fields. The event features over 50 displays, presentations, projects to take home and activities for school-age children, grades K–12.  https://appliedtech.iit.edu/stemexpo

Indiana

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis had engineers from various disciplines stationed near several exhibits throughout the museum during its annual Engineers Day event. Each station will have a hands-on activity and volunteers will be there to talk with visitors, answer any questions about engineering, and hand out materials. http://mtwc.org/event/engineers-day-at-the-childrens-museum-of-indianapolis/

Older students might enjoy the Engineers Week High School Bridge Contest on Saturday held on the campus of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. http://www.etcs.ipfw.edu/EWeekBridgeContest/

Iowa

Several fun events are scheduled for the college’s students during the Iowa State University Engineers’ Week. The goal is to involve the college in a celebration of engineering that encompasses all students, faculty, staff, and alumni. https://www.engineering.iastate.edu/eweek/

Kansas

For two days, March 2nd and 3rd, the Kansas University School of Engineering will open its doors to Elementary and Middle School students to explore the world of engineering during its Engineering Expo 2018. Students will have unique opportunities to learn more about science and engineering through demonstrations, hands-on activities, and competitions. This year’s competitions include: Marshmallow Tower, Downhill Car, Rube Goldberg, Egg Drop, Skyscraper, Pasta Bridge, Paper Airplane, Catapult, and Water Rocket. https://engr.ku.edu/esc/expo

March 10th will be the 20th anniversary of the Society of Women Engineers Wichita Section’s 2018 Engineering Expo. The event is designed to show students in grades K–8 how cool engineering can be. This free event features hands-on activities as well as smaller, in-depth workshops for kids in grades 6, 7 and 8. Workshops this year include: Apollo 13 CO2 Filter, Build a Fidget Spinner, Hydraulic Claw, Solar Cars, and Squishy Circuits. https://wichitaswe.org/expo/

Michigan

This Friday, the American Center for Mobility’s Exploration Day: The Future of Self-Driving Vehicles will offer opportunities to learn from industry experts on the state of industry and technology of self-driving vehicles (and drones), experience demo vehicles, take a tour of the new American Center for Mobility test site, and talk to company representatives about job opportunities. The morning is open to veterans. Students are invited in the afternoon. https://events.engin.umich.edu/events/49459-11462136/

Minnesota

The MPS STEM & Career Exploration Expo, February 21st, is a keystone event for all Minneapolis Public Schools’ 8th grade students to explore STEM-related career interests and learning opportunities in the community. Community partners will provide hands-on, interactive exhibits designed to increase student interest in STEM-related learning and/or career opportunities related to Minnesota’s career fields that keep our economy strong: Business, Management & Administration, Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Arts, Communications & Information Systems, Engineering, Manufacturing & Technology, Health Sciences, and Human Services. http://stem.mpls.k12.mn.us/mpsstemexpo

Get ready to dive into the world of technology and engineering at Tech Fest on Saturday. The biggest event of the year for The Works Museum. With dozens of hands-on activities led by scientists, engineers, and educators, this special family STEM day is a perfect opportunity to explore together. The event brings together all the areas of STEM with activities and demos designed just for families. With building, making, chemistry, the physics of launching rockets, exploring technology used to save lives and keep us healthy, and more, Tech Fest is a perfect family outing for a wintry day. https://theworks.org/tech-fest/

Missouri

At Coding is as easy as Raspberry Pi on February 27th, kids will explore the world of coding using these credit card-sized computers and learn the basics of computer languages such as SCRATCH. http://www.mymcpl.org/events/calendar/event/26877

Ohio

Each year, the Case Engineering Council (CEC) coordinates Case Western Reserve University’s Engineers Week with several events scheduled for Case students. They are able to participate in friendly competition, social events, seminars with excellent speakers, and a reception. https://engineering.case.edu/delpp/eweek

Wisconsin

The one-day STEM Exploration Day for Girls on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus will be February 23rd. This event caters to 7th and 8th grade girls to get them fired up and excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The event showcases STEM career professionals from throughout Wisconsin and faculty from the UW system. Students will engage in hands-on workshops and learn the many career paths available with an education in STEM. A $40 registration fee includes exhibit exploration, a keynote presentation, three one-hour workshops, event materials, a t-shirt and a lunch. Students have 27 workshops to choose from. https://www.uwsp.edu/conted/ConfWrkShp/Pages/STEM/Girls.aspx