Across these United States, individuals, corporations, governments, non-profits including professional societies, students from K-12 and collegians, and members of the public are observing National Engineers Week or E-Week as it is often referred to. This year’s E-Week events will run from February 18-24, 2018. E-Week always includes the Presidents Day Holiday. Why? Because George Washington was not only our first president, he was also a civil engineer – a surveyor. E-Week was first observed in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
The purpose of National E-Week is to call attention to the contributions to society that engineers make and have made throughout history. It is also a time for engineers to emphasize the importance of learning math, science, and technical skills. Since I am an engineer, by education and training, I have used this blog as a platform to do the same.
Those of you who have been reading my blog know that there’s been much discussion designed to encourage America’s children and youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The facts surrounding these discussions show that we’ve been more successful in talking about it than significantly increasing the number of students pursuing and graduating from these programs. As shown in Figure 1, China and India hold the top two positions for STEM graduates.
Why is STEM education important? According to the Department of Labor, the United States is expected to have more than 1.2 million job openings in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math in 2018.
Expanding STEM education opportunities will not only improve our global competitiveness it will also enable the U.S. to remain as the technological leader and foster our national security. STEM graduates have become a very important part of global prosperity.
Now, let’s take a look at a different set of data. A comparison of engineering graduates by country shows the following numbers (Source – World Atlas):
|Rank||Country||Number of Annual Engineering/Manufacturing/Construction Graduates|
Two national events that will take during E-Week are The Future City Competition with the top five teams competing tomorrow, Wednesday, February 21, 2018, in Washington, DC. Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day events take place across the U.S. on February 22, 2018. There are also many E-Week 2018 programs that are being sponsored by the engineering communities throughout the United States.
To find an event in your area, google National Engineers Week 2018.