What comes to your mind when you think about engineers or engineering? When I hear these words there are a lot of things that cross my mind. I think of how difficult it is and how much determination it requires to become an engineer. I also think about all the things around and wonder would they have been here if not for engineers.
Engineering is in no way an easy stream and we all know that and still, it is one of the most sought-after courses and for all the right reasons. Ever wondered why engineering is so important? To put it in simple words, all development you see around you is a piece of engineering work. Be it a bridge, your house, your office, a machine, electronic equipment, a toy, you name it. It requires the mind of an engineer to build anything new and bring about a change. For a long time, there have been debates on whether or not to incorporate engineering in the early years to make it easier for children to understand the whole concept.
You ask an engineer whether incorporating engineering in schools would be a good idea and the answer would be in affirmative. Just imagine, if engineers could learn the basics right from the beginning, albeit at a slow and easy pace. Not only would they have found it much easier later but could have also utilized their time in gaining practical knowledge in college.
Engineering is a profession that applies and experiments using scientific and mathematical knowledge to find ways to make our lives easier and better. It doesn’t matter who comes up with the idea, the process and execution part are always done by an engineer. It is their job to see whether the idea is feasible, if not, then how to make that idea feasible, how an idea can be improvised and then executing that idea to bring it to reality.
Let me give you an example of things that probably go unnoticed on a day-to-day basis. So, let’s say you are driving at 75 mph on I-95. Now, we all know that not all roads are straight and there are several curves and turns that we come across. Have you ever wondered why you don’t need to drop the speed of your vehicle or press on the brakes even when your car goes through these curves and turns? Why doesn’t your car skid off the lane when taking these turns at high speed? It is because the roads are banked and it takes an engineer to decide the angle of the banking to ensure that the car does not topple over. Road banking simply means that the roads are slanted in such a way that the road curves support the speed of the vehicle to ensure that it does not tumble.
Benefits of Early Introduction
This being said, engineering is also one of the most difficult streams as it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. There are over 25 different areas of study within the engineering discipline. Some of these are civil, mechanical, biomedical, chemical, electrical, geological, architectural, industrial, aerospace, software, and nuclear engineering. Each discipline has many sub-categories. However, at the core, all engineering disciplines share certain fundamental competencies that have to be mastered to enter the world of this extremely competitive profession.
Several engineering students drop out for several reasons. Some of them are that the stream is too difficult or lack academic success or the subjects do not match their area of interest. This results in stress and obviously, loss of time as they have put in months or even years in doing something that they were not even interested in.
It makes all the more sense to introduce engineering at an early stage so that children can understand what it all about as the basics will be clear and out of the way once they actually enter an engineering college. It will also help them narrow down on which engineering discipline they want to opt for or whether or not they are interested in taking it up at all.
Many experts believe that teaching engineering to younger students will also help empower them to believe that they can work through any problem that they set their mind on.
Everything said and done, at the core, engineering is all about the process. We are surrounded by engineering marvels and bringing it to the classroom in a structured way will only help in integrating science and math and provide students with a way of thinking which is beneficial for them. If students are engaged in the process of ideation and execution of a process to build will make them ready for progressive and sophisticated types of engineering.