If you think about it, almost every human-made object or structure was designed and created by an engineer. The sidewalks we walk on, the elevators we ride, the phones we use, and even the air conditioning we enjoy were all developed by engineers. Without them, our lives would be much different!
Engineering takes many forms, providing a diverse variety of work. From civil and electrical engineering to mechanical and chemical engineering, almost everything we use in our daily lives is made possible by engineers.
Within education, your child’s curriculum must engage them in engineering processes. Why? Because it helps them develop problem-solving skills, gain the ability to think through complex problems, practice collaborating and communicating with others, and learn how to persevere through failures.
There is no doubt that children shouldn’t have to wait until they enter college to start exploring engineering as a potential career path and the soft skills that go along with it. Plus, engineering jobs are in high demand across a range of industries. Luckily, there are plenty of interesting and practical ways to explore engineering for kids.
In this article, you’ll learn about engineering: what it is, the different types, and how you can help introduce your kids to engineering.
What Exactly Is Engineering?
Most people associate engineering with the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures. While that is one type of engineering, this line of work covers a broader range of career paths and skills.
An engineer is someone who designs, builds, or maintains machines, engines, structures, and even the environment. They help create everything around us for a more sustainable future.
Check out some of the different types of engineering below!
Aerospace: Aerospace engineers might work on developing a new spacecraft, space telescopes, commercial airliners, military jets, sea transportation, racing cards, and even deep-sea vessels!
Agriculture & Biosystems: These engineers are passionate about protecting the environment. They look to meet the needs of a growing world population in sustainable ways.
Civil: These are the engineers we typically think of – those who work on road systems, buildings, and bridges.
Computer Science: A computer science engineer might develop cutting-edge music software, invent a new hand-held device or even manage air traffic control towers.
Electrical engineers work on robotics, computer networks, wireless communications, and even medical imaging devices. They get to be at the forefront of technological innovation!
Nuclear: Safely harnessing the power of the atom to produce energy or to diagnose and treat medical problems is the expertise of this type of engineer.
Manufacturing: These engineers use technical expertise to plan, design, set up, modify, optimize, and monitor the manufacturing process for things like medicine, food, and oil.
This is by no means an extensive list. However, it represents the breadth and depth of engineering opportunities for your child to explore and learn about.
No matter the industry, engineering is involved. It takes excellent planning and following protocols, processes, and procedures to bring a project to life.
Strong problem-solving, critical thinking, and organization are needed in this field. That’s why learning about engineering at an early age can be essential to all areas of your child’s life.
How To Engage Your Child in Engineering
Now that we’ve established what an engineer is and the different fields they are involved in, let’s talk about how to introduce engineering to your kids.
One great way to introduce your child to engineering is by incorporating it into the things they are interested in. As we have learned, engineering is baked into everything we do. Ask what topics interest your child and explore them further. Engineers are sure to be involved in some way, shape, or form!
Another way to introduce the engineering process to kids is to take a trip to your local library and sign out books on engineering. You could also scour the web for educational content on YouTube and find fun games and other interactive content to try.
The last way to introduce engineering to kids is to sign your child up for a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) course. This is a fun, hands-on way for students to gain an understanding of engineering through various activities!
There are endless possibilities when it comes to engineering. If your child shows interest in the field, then it’s important to get them involved sooner rather than later.
Ivy Camps USA is offerings after school programs designed to teach your child science & engineering skills! There are three programs to choose from that focus on different areas of science and the engineering process for kids. All courses are taught by Ivy League instructors, so you’ll know your child is getting the best supplemental education designed to widen their path!
As you keep everything about engineering for kids in mind, you’ll be able to prepare your child for the wonders of engineering and the skills that go along with it, such as collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking.