Help Students Discover Engineering Year-Round

March 7, 2011

Two new events are capturing imaginations this week.

Here at ASCE, we are keenly aware that the mission of “Engineers Week” lasts year-round. Although the official dates for 2011 were Feb. 20 – 26, and there was a flurry of activity during that week, the excitement about turning kids on to engineering started building long before February, and will continue for some months to come.

This week two awesome events are taking place. The Global Marathon for, by and about Women in Engineering and Technology runs today through Saturday, March 12. The forum links professional women, college students and girls worldwide for virtual and in-person conversation about education and careers in engineering and technology. Check it out on the Global Marathon website and Facebook.

In addition, a unique global geocaching event starts today. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. It’s a great activity to do with students to promote team building. Clues for the game will be given on the Global Marathon Facebook page.

Whether your focus is local or global, spring and summer are great seasons to plan and/or participate in the Global Marathon, career fairs, warm weather festivals and other engineering educational activities and experiences. As the excitement of Engineers Week begins to dissipate, take this opportunity to rev up your plans to help kids discover the year-round excitement of civil engineering.

Leslie Payne
Senior Manager, Pre-College Outreach

2 Comments
  • Thank you, Richard, for your candid and insightful feedback regarding ASCE’s K-12 outreach and diversity initiatives.

    It is true that the Global Marathon and Introduce a Girl to Engineering are both Engineers Week Initiatives that focus on introducing young women and girls to the field of civil engineering. However, these two programs are just a small portion of the suite of outreach programs initiated by the Engineers Week that ASCE supports. ASCE’s year round educational outreach programming, both as a partner with others in the educational outreach community and as an individual society includes initiatives to all populations and is intended not only to recruit young people to our exciting profession, but also to build awareness of the role of civil engineering in the world, thereby strengthening technological literacy in our society. Our Committee on Pre-College Outreach reiterated this mission in its 2010 Five-Year Strategic Plan.

    ASCE’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives have traditionally focused on underrepresented populations both within the ASCE membership and civil engineering workforce. When we refer to underrepresentation, we are referring to primarily gender, racial and ethnic groups. Specifically we reach out to females in all populations, and both male and female African American, Native American and Hispanic populations. This can be seen in our long standing partnerships with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). The aforementioned relationships are directed and sustained by the ASCE Committee on Diversity & Inclusion (CDI), formerly the Committee on Diversity and Women in Civil Engineering (CDWCE). These unique and valued partnerships are an important part of our continued educational outreach mission, but are by no means the singular focus of our efforts.

    As a valued member of ASCE, your insights are always welcome in an effort to enhance the strategic nature and effectiveness of our pre-college outreach initiatives, including our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. Please feel free to contact the Chair of CPO, Sybil Hatch, the Chair of CDI, Sandra Houston or ASCE’s Senior Managers of Diversity Programs (cthompson@asce.org) and Pre-College Outreach (lpayne@asce.org).

  • Richard Griswold

    ASCE focuses its career recruitment on females. I am unclear as to why and when ASCE decided that males in middle and high schools did not merit the same attention. It seems that diversity goals at ASCE outweigh the goal of obtaining all possible recruits to our profession.

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