Friday, February 20, 2009


Everyone thinks of engineers as being somewhat geeky guys who love to tinker. Unfortunately, few people think of bright women who bring the "what can it do" perspective to applying science and technology. Women engineers are few and far between. Even women scientists and mathematicians are under-represented.

The number of college students enrolled in science, math and engineering has been on the decline for many years. Too bad for the future of the US's global influence, because because every other country "gets it" and is actively ramping up the quality and quantity of educational opportunities for men AND women in these fields.

I just discovered, thanks to the Science Friday site, this is National Engineer Week. One of their focus initiatives is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day February 19 ..oops, missed that.

Attracting young people into engineering is especially difficult in the current educational and economic climate. Many students start college in Engineering but switch to History or Political Science along the way - just too hard when it is easier to get an MBA and make a ton of money in financial services. The rewards and the incentives are way out of wack. The US got to be prosperous because it used to be the world leader in science and engineering. Those days are long gone. America's engineers are all retiring, and the foreign students are all going home to academic, corporate and political recognition, support and respect for engineering initiative, motivation and skills.

There are lots of efforts to attract boys and girls to engineering. Sadly much of it is in a state of benign neglect - last updated about the time current middle schoolers were born. This is a really tough job. It may be thankless, but much more has to be done and real soon now. Our future depends on engineers and engineering.

Discover Eningeering
Engineer Girl
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day February 19
ZOOM into Engineering

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