It’s important that engineers actively engage the public because people don’t talk to engineers. Doctors heal people. Lawyers defend (or prosecute!) people. Actors fill our media. But traditionally, engineers sit far removed from the end user, separated by time and distance from those who enjoy the fruits of their labor.

As engineering graduate students, we know (some of us from personal experience) that many people pursue engineering simply by chance or by inertia. A high school guidance counselor gives the advice: “You’re a ‘math and science’ person; go be an engineer.” Or a student has parents who are engineers, so that becomes the default.

But we can do better.

Our initiative is called seeME, a one-day event featuring hands-on classes that introduce young students to the various aspects of life as an engineer.

By connecting middle- and high-school students with little or no background in engineering, to diverse graduate students who are passionate and eager to teach it, we hope to create meaningful experiences that encourage every participant to explore a potential academic or professional career in engineering. seeME lets students explore hands-on classes such as:

  • Wind energy
  • Driver-less cars
  • Predicting the spread of disease
  • Industrial engineering
  • Fire
  • Data Science

Check out our efforts towards improving science communication, education, and outreach on YouTube and at a 2021 conference.