Building diversity in the engineering profession

The next generation of engineers, and the one after that, may be much different. Video: Visiting where kids are learning what engineering is about and loving every minute.


Flash is required!

Visit the Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering Program.

From time to time we’ve talked about the demographic time bomb the engineering profession is facing with an aging workforce and too few people pursuing it as a vocation. For those wringing their hands about the future, here’s a bit of good news: Come and meet Kenneth Hill, a man who is dedicated to bringing new communities into the engineering profession, and he has taken responsibility to make it happen.

The video is a visit to his “little engineers” program where he takes Chicago school children, beginning in kindergarten, and builds a foundation for them to understand math, science, and engineering in a way that they will be solidly prepared to go to a college or university and compete with the best in an engineering curriculum.

Hill has been building ChiS&E (Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering Program) to develop kids from traditionally educationally underserved communities. Beginning in kindergarten, he has created programs that make the students understand what engineering is about. They learn the different kinds of engineering, problem solving, math, science, and critical thinking.

So far, in the ChiS&E program, the oldest kids are fifth-graders. They’re the ones that were in the first class of kindergarteners and the program has added a new grade level each year. Eventually the program will be a comprehensive K-12 curriculum turning out students from African-American and Latino communities well positioned to succeed in any university engineering program.

This program is patterned after one Hill helped form in Detroit, DAPCEP. (See an earlier story.) It has been very successful and helped produce countless engineers. In a eight or nine years, it will be much the same in Chicago.

There are ways for people in our professions to help ChiS&E. It’s a very modest program and gets a lot of bang from every buck. In the video, Hill explains the kind of help he’s seeking. You’ll also see how deeply committed parents and teachers are to the program. And the kids really like it too. In a few years they may be applying for jobs at your company, and you will want to hire them.

Related links

SADANANDAN , IN, India, 12/19/13 12:28 AM:

Anonymous , 12/19/13 11:24 AM:

I enjoyed it. Very good idea to provide young students a good insight about engineering in general. Hands-on is the key for the success of the program.
hershman , AZ, United States, 12/31/13 12:30 PM:

I believe more high school students should visit School, hospital building maintenance department and be shown around.
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.