Here's a week devoted to you, the engineer. National Engineers Week, which began yesterday, includes a series of programs presented by DiscoverE -- an arm of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
Through this week, DiscoverE will present a series of programs around the country that are designed to raise awareness of the importance of engineering. "We present National Engineers Week for two reasons," Leslie Collins, the executive director of DiscoverE, told Design News. "One is to make sure the accomplishments of engineers are recognized, and the other is to let people know about the importance of engineering education and workforce development."
Collins pointed to a number of DiscoverE programs planned for the week:
- "First, we have a social media campaign going that includes participation from our thought leaders, called Inspired2engineer."
- "We will also present Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, which occurs February 26. The goal is to introduce one million girls to the engineering profession."
- "In Washngton, DC, on February 28, we will present Discover Engineering Family Day at the National Building Museum. Volunteers will provide DIY (do it yourself) activities. Last year we had more than 9,000 visitors."
- "We just announced the nominees in our New Faces of Engineering Pro and College campaigns."
NSPE launched National Engineers Week in 1951. The Society created the NSPE Foundation to run Engineering Week. In 1990, the Foundation and Bechtel Group launched DiscoverE as the first formal national call to engineer volunteers for engagement in K-12 education, partly in response to government studies showing future shortages in engineering talent. DiscoverE became the Foundation's K-12 umbrella volunteer outreach movement.
Supporting engineering around the world
While National Engineers Week is a US-based program, the concept has spread globally. "Some of our programs have been adopted in other places around the world," said Collins. UNESCO started Africa Engineering Week to elevate the great things engineers can do to contribute a good quality of life. They want to develop engineers in Africa. We see programs poping up all around the world. We provide a framework for what to do."
Engineers Week celebrates all types of engineers. "One of the reasons Engineers Week is so successful is we don't represent one particular discipline," said Collins. "You'll see all kinds of engineers participate."
Click here for upcoming Engineers Week events throughout the US.
After Engineers Week, DiscoverE will host the only event connected to International Women's Day that helps women around the world network. It's the three-day Global Marathon, a free, online event that runs March 9-11 for women in engineering and technology worldwide.
Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine, Chile Pepper.