All the news lately about “STEM” education has me thinking about my own experience coming to work at HP fresh out of college. Myth #1: If you’re great at problem sets, you’ll be a great engineer…
In my short “video reflection” (2:44), I share the kinds of experiences that REALLY prepared me for engineering design and that “spirit of innovation” that’s needed:
The good news is that many secondary and higher education institutions have been creating more hands-on, socially relevant, design experiences for their students. For grades 6-12, there are programs like Project Lead the Way, which helps schools provide pre-college engineering-like courses for credit. In higher education, there are innovative engineering programs on campuses such as Olin College, Purdue, and many more, where the thrill of real engineering design isn’t an experience saved for the final “senior thesis”, but it’s the excitement that draws in first-year students.
But there’s more to be done. Engineering accreditation needs to take a fresh look at its expectations. Secondary schools need to revisit how math and science can be more relevant through projects that engage students in socially meaningful solutions to real community challenges.
I know we can do it – there’s no time to lose.
Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Education Program Manager
HP Office of Global Social Innovation