Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Civil Engineers

August 7, 2019
ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith. PHOTO: Jason Dixson Photography

According to DiscoverE, 81 percent of engineers today report that they decided to become an engineer before they entered college. Only 25 percent decided in elementary or middle school. Looking over the horizon, it’s critical to develop the next generation of civil engineers who will maintain and build our infrastructure.

There are many ways to inspire students to consider civil engineering as a career path. Civil engineers can inspire students simply by telling their stories. They can start by sharing the fascinating projects they work on, the people they work with and the impacts and benefits of these projects. Also, it’s important to connect the opportunities and challenges facing society today and into the future – such as climate change, artificial intelligence, natural disasters, population growth, new modes of transportation, alternative energy, smart cities – and how civil engineers are entrusted and responsible to address and solve these issues.

ASCE is a leader in promoting the profession in schools across the nation. Whether it’s through Civil Engineering Clubs or outreach activities like Future City or Family Day, it’s never too early or too late to introduce students to the profession.

Most notably, ASCE’s film “Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” now streaming on Netflix and Amazon, includes an entire suite of materials that can be used during classroom visits. Show the film to students or classes and follow it up with a panel discussion or some hands-on activities. If you’re visiting for a shorter time, use one of the short educational webisodes to introduce a topic and then supplement it with an activity.

Just recently, ASCE led a successful campaign to place a copy of the “Dream Big” educational toolkit in every school in the United States. The toolkit includes a two-DVD set in English, Spanish and closed-captioning; 20 webisodes; and a guide for teachers.

In addition to these initiatives, ASCE produces a wide range of materials that can assist members during their outreach activities. Brush up on your efforts and access resources such as live workshops and training, or order materials to pass out during events.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s civil engineers, so we must support and encourage students to aim high and dream big.

Don’t miss these other ways ASCE is working for you:

 Review courses for the fall P.E. exams begin Aug. 1

Did you know that those who take the ASCE exam review courses enjoy a 90 percent pass rate? Courses for the October exams get underway Aug. 1. Sign up now.

 Select 10 free PDH-earning webinars when you renew

ASCE membership entitles you to 10 free on-demand webinars that earn PDHs for each one you successfully complete. That’s 10 free PDHs just for being a member. Login to get started.

Advance your career and more on new early-career resources site

ASCE’s Career by Design, a new online portal for young civil engineers, can build your confidence. Gain access to a wealth of targeted content, tools, tips and opportunities for advancement. Plug in and charge your career.

 Find a mentor or be one with ASCE Mentor Match

Just launched earlier this year, this new member benefit brings civil engineers together for professional growth. Mentor Match pairs you with an expert who can guide you in the right direction. You can also share your experiences to help others. See how to get involved.

Earn rewards when you spread the word about ASCE

The 2019 Member Get a Member Program encourages existing members to earn rewards for the new members they recruit. Refer colleagues and start earning rewards.

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