Check out this short video to see what civil engineers do!
The choices we present to our children related to toys, classes, and career expectations can limit or enhance their perception of opportunities.
A recent article in KCW Today reported the following: “ Boys are three times as likely to receive science and maths toys for Christmas than girls, according to recent research carried out by the Institute of engineering and Technology (IET). It reveals that only 11 per cent of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) toys are listed for girls, whereas 31 per cent were listed for boys. The gap between gendered toys could be helping to steer girls away from jobs in engineering and technology. At present, women account for only nine percent of Britain’s engineers. “Societal stereotypes driving these gendered listings could be having a knock-on effect for the next generation of engineers, especially girls, impacting their future career choices,” warned the IET.
The perspective of parents may sometimes be different than the perspective of the child. KCW Today reported that another study by the IET showed that 39 percent of primary school girls admitted to enjoying ICT and computing with 38 percent claiming to enjoy maths and 36 percent, science, but only seven percent of parents said that engineering would appeal to their daughter as a career.
“The research shows girls clearly do have an interest in science, technology and engineering subjects at school so we need to find ways to help this to translate into a higher number of women entering the industry,” said toy engineer and IET spokesperson, Mamta Singhal. “The toy industry is changing slowly and over the years more gender-neutral toys such as science kits have started appearing. Toys can really influence what a child does in later years, therefore STEM toys are a natural move for the industry.”
Listen to your children and the types of toys and activities they enjoy. Expose them to opportunities to learn more about the world around them and they will find careers that enhance their skills and ignite their passion.
Check out NASA Space Place
NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is one of the top agencies for scientists and engineers to build careers. They cover a wide range of subjects and work with top level programs. They have put together a series of video cartoons to help kids learn more about the careers available at NASA. These videos can be found at:
See the cartoon video below with Kip Thorne, a scientist at NASA. He had originally wanted to be a snowplow driver, but they chose to go into astrophysics. Now he studies black holes and time warps.
Here is an inspirational video that shows some of history's great people and the obstacles that they overcame to achieve their dreams. We can inspire our children to dream, overcome obstacles, and do what it takes to achieve. Education on the opportunities available opens visions that would never be imagined without exposure to the possibilities.
The 4th of July is a great time to be grateful for the many blessings we have, including freedom to live our dreams. I hope that you will enjoy this great day with friends and family. Take time to remember those who have gone before and protected these blessings through service in the military, the community, the nation, and the world.
I never knew how much work went into creating a book or the marketing involved. I had an idea to write a book for kids about civil engineering. I have often felt that there is not enough information out in the world to encourage kids to become engineers. Most children's books about careers deal with doctors, dentists, firemen, and police. Many adults that I talk to are not comfortable discussing engineering because they don't feel comfortable with the vocabulary. My children have been very curious about many things. Explaining valves, dams, and flow were exciting conversations if I showed them pictures of the things we were talking about. I have given presentations at my kids' schools about engineering and have found the kids excited and interested. Most of the excitement came from seeing exciting pictures while talking about the role of the civil engineer in society. These experiences and my desire to write a book have developed into Exploring Careers with Kids: ABCs of Civil Engineering. I am excited to get this book out for people to enjoy. As I have looked into publishing, marketing, and distributing books, I have learned a lot of things I had never thought of. This has been a very interesting journey for me and I hope that it will continue to be interesting to all who choose to follow this blog as I share my insights as well as look for others to contribute and participate in this new experience.
Ben is a civil engineer exploring careers with his kids. He started his working career as a paperboy and has worked in many industries. He enjoys spending time with his family, camping, fishing, hunting, reading, playing basketball, and learning new skills. Ben is passionate about his kids and engineering. Ben lives with his wife, kids, a dog, and several lizards at the end of a cul-de-sac in Springville, Utah.