| Engineering Goes Public |
The National Engineers Week Committee encourages you to take engineering to the public at the great American gathering place: the local shopping mall.
"Engineering Goes Public" at a number of malls throughout the U.S. during the Week. From San Luis Obispo in California to Albany, New York, engineers are sponsoring special exhibits at their communities' most-visited places. Exhibits include product demonstrations, lectures, contests, and hands-on activities for families. Costs are shared by sponsors while some National Engineers Week councils even realize a profit by assessing an exhibitor fee.
Strategic planning begins early, at least four months in advance.
- Determine whether a local mall is willing to cooperate. What's in it for them? Increased visitor traffic. Contact mall management and discuss available dates. A Saturday at the beginning or end of National Engineers Week is preferable.
- Follow up immediately with a letter outlining tentative plans and requesting a meeting to clarify mall policies and procedures and to confirm the date.
- Organize an "Engineering Goes Public" committee. Be sure that all activities are coordinated with your general National Engineers Week committee. Recruit committee members from engineering societies, including student chapters.
- Determine the program and exhibits. Assign responsibilities to committee members. The best programs engage visitors with hands-on activities. Student activities are popular.
- Meet with mall management to determine costs, rules, and dates.
- Develop a budget, as well as publicity and fundraising plans. Promote exhibits through local schools. Work through local engineering soceties' contacts. What's in it for sponsors? Public exposure. What's in it for visitors? Fun while learning.
- Order give-aways, posters, and other promotional items from National Engineers Week headquarters.
- Continue committee meetings and keep notes on your progress to pass along next year.
- After the event, write thank-you letters, evaluate the effort and establish the initial meeting date for the next program.