Inspiring Kids to Become Tomorrow’s Design Engineers

We have all heard about the STEM crisis in America, and are aware that we all have a responsibility to help inspire future generations to consider careers in science and engineering.  In many places around the globe, the best path available to young people for improving their lives exists in the engineering world.  So how can we inspire kids to want to pursue a life of designing and inventing?

Tomorrow’s products will be designed by today’s children.  If your kid is curious about what you do for a living and why you love it, here’s a few ideas for inspiring them to become engineers.

Image: Robot made for student FIRST competition. Students build the robots in teams, with mentorship from adults in the STEM community.

Celebrate ideas.  All too often, accolades and praise go to the popular heroes in sports, movies, or TV.  Show your child that ideas are worthy of celebration, and encourage them to develop their own ideas into fully realized artifacts.  Show them that their own ideas and work can, in fact, inspire others.

Have fun.  Science and engineering don’t have to be boring, or even predominantly cerebral.  Get your kids involved with the natural world on a tactile level – encourage them to try things, explore, and to experience the world in all its richness and detail.  Show them that making things is fun.

Avoid criticism.  Always practice positive encouragement, and teach your kids to value experimentation.  Rather than criticizing their ideas, provide them with the tools to fully explore them for themselves.  

And finally, follow their lead.  Children already naturally exist in a world of new things, and given the chance will automatically pursue their own curiosity and interests.  Follow them, find what inspires them, and provide the tools and opportunities they need to bring their own curiosity to fruition. Inspire them with PTC Creo.

Does your current 3D CAD software enable you to do your best design work?