| National Engineers Week Ideas for Your Community |
Here are ideas for interesting National Engineers Week programs appropriate for every community. You can post your activities and read about others in our National Events Forum.
AwardsDuring planned events, such as mall exhibits or banquets, present awards to outstanding teachers, students, employers or engineers. Present an award to an outstanding science, technology or environmental reporter at your local newspaper. Consider awarding a cash contribution or gift to the individual's school or favorite public cause.
BanquetSponsor a special banquet with a prominent speaker. Invite engineers, community leaders, teachers involved with Discover"E" programs, and others through area engineering societies. Use the banquet as an opportunity to showcase awards..
ConsultantsOrganize a public tour of interesting local projects the firm has engineered and distribute a brochure about the projects.
CorrespondencePurchase a postage slug saying "Proud Supporter of National Engineers Week" for your office postage meter. Your correspondence will highlight your support of the week. Contact your local post office to have a slug made.
Discover"E"Participate in the National Engineers Week Discover"E" student outreach program. Visit local elementary, middle, and secondary schools and sponsor extracurricular activities. Work with local scout troops, school science and math clubs, and other community organizations to highlight engineering careers. Information on student activities is available in the Discover"E" guide in this kit and from a variety of sources, such as The Junior Engineering Technical Society 1420 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 548-5387. JETS also stocks a variety of career guidance brochures for junior and senior high school students.
Employee CommunicationsWork with editors of in-house publications and video programs to publicize the Week and the work of your engineers. Develop ideas for interesting stories about engineer employees. Contact the chairman's office to ask for a special message in recognition of the company's engineers. Prepare story ideas on engineers' public service projects, school visits, etc. Provide logos and graphics to make web and print articles more interesting.
Family programs Work with a local science center or public venue to host hands-on activities for families. Check out one example.
Film FestivalSponsor a film festival at a local university or school. Show movies that touch on issues of science and technology and present different images of the engineer. Follow screenings with discussions of how close the images come to the truth. Some titles to consider: "War of the Worlds," "Mission Impossible," "I, Robot," "Minority Report" and "The Matrix." Keep the event free or charge a nominal fee to help raise scholarship money or funds to pay for school science equipment. Promote the event through local radio and newspapers.
Future CityNational Engineers Week Future City Competition: Engineers serve as volunteer mentors to help seventh-and eighth-grade student teams design and build a future city, using SimCity software. Teams are also required to build a table-top scale model of their city, write an essay on an assigned engineering topic, and present their city design and model to a panel of judges. Schools register to compete in local contests and those winners compete in Washington, D.C., during National Engineers Week.
Government HeadquartersCreate special exhibits in public areas showcasing on-going engineering projects. Leave hand-outs such as bookmarks (see the Eweek Product Catalog) for employees and their families.
Health FairHost a community health fair at a local hospital or university medical center. While offering free blood pressure readings, cholesterol screenings, and nutritional advice, lectures and demonstrations could also emphasize engineering's contributions to medicine, such as the artificial kidney, novel drug delivery systems, etc.
Industry ProgramsTie corporate advertising to the week and produce local public service announcements or video news releases about the company's Engineers Week activities.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering DayOn the Thursday of Engineers Week join a global effort to introduce young girls to engineering as part of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. One popular event is a "Role Model Luncheon." Women engineers host local students. Learn more.
Joint ActivitiesBring together local companies, engineering societies, and community organizations to plan and implement an event. There's strength in numbers.
Kite FestivalKites, Frisbees, and rockets can launch a successful project for kids and their families and teach scientific and engineering principles.
LibrariesSponsor an "Engineering Day" demonstration or exhibit at your local library. Donate books and bookmarks for a special engineering section for students. Check out these suggestions. I Want to Be...an Engineer and Is There an Engineer Inside You ? are available through the Engineers Week Product Catalog, as are the award-winning A Century of Innovation and Greatest Achievements of the Tweintieth Century.
Making ConnectionsSpotlight the "unseen" engineering that is part of everyday life by hosting events that, on the surface, seem to have little to do with technology. For example, sponsor a fashion show of clothing made from synthetic fibers.
MediaWork with newspapers to spotlight local engineering projects and engineers or sponsor a special supplement. Work with local television and radio stations to organize public affairs programs.
NatureLead a "DiscoverE" hike to explore how engineering imitates and protects nature. For background see the EWEEK activities on Wetlands, "Washout" and "Cleaning up Lake Barcroft" and renewable energy sources.
Open HouseOpen facilities and labs for student and public tours. Add lectures, seminars and exhibits to open-house programs. To make the program more interesting, include hands-on activities for visitors. Advertise open house programs through radio stations and newspapers. Consider inviting reporters to attend.
ProclamationAsk a local city council or state official such as the Governor to issue a National Engineers Week proclamation declaring National Engineers Week in your city or state. Local and state officials are usually more than happy to issue proclamations, and it can be an effective way to publicize your group's efforts. Because these officials get so many requests for proclamations, it will be helpful for you to draft a proclamation and send it with a cover letter, explaining the significance of your program. Indicate your interest in meeting with the official and make an appointment.
Or, plan for your group to attend the event, such as the city council meeting, where the proclamation will be read to the public. For the signing or public reading, work with the official's staff to alert media. Arrange to photograph the event. Distribute the photo to local newspapers. Be sure to display the proclamation at your Engineers Week events and reproduce it in newsletters and programs. If possible, send a copy of the proclamation and photo to National Engineers Week Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Sample wording for a proclamation follows:
Whereas, engineers have used their scientific and technical knowledge and skills in creative and innovative ways to fulfill society's needs; and Whereas, engineers face the major technological challenges of our timefrom rebuilding towns devastated by natural disasters to designing an information superhighway that will speed our country into the twenty-first century; and Whereas engineers are encouraging our young math and science students to realize the practical power of their knowledge; and Whereas, we will look more than ever to engineers and their knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the future; Now therefore, I (official and title) do proclaim (month, days, year) National Engineers Week in (State/City).
RaceHost a 10K race or tennis tournament to emphasize such engineering achievements as graphite rackets and running shoes.
Speakers BureauEstablish a speakers bureau and contact local civic organizations to offer speakers during the Week. Find engineers who are comfortable with public speaking and who have the time to make appearances.
Develop a list of speech topics. Speech topics will change with each audience. Try to include local angles and information. Speech topics might include engineering careers, 22nd century technology, a look at how technology has influenced history, the role of technology in the growth of your community, and women and minorities in engineering and the Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century.
Prepare a list of community groups that might be receptive to your speakers. Interested organizations might include the Chamber of Commerce; business and professional associations; college groups or clubs; history and heritage groups; churches; Rotary, Lions; women's clubs; and other civic groups.
TelecastsServe as an in-the-classroom resource person for the broadcast of Visioneering. Visioneering is a program of the Institute for Engineering Education at SMU for middle and high school students.
TourOrganize a walking tour or bus tour of major engineering accomplishments in the community, such as bridges; power plants; dams; manufacturing plants; etc. Tours could be either guided, with a speaker providing background on the facilities and answering questions, or self-guided, using a brochure prepared especially for the event.
University ProgramsWork with the university newspaper and/or radio station to highlight the engineering school. Develop stories about on-going research, notable alumni, etc. Assist student engineering groups in setting up career fairs, mall displays, or school visits. Work with the campus video department to capture the week's events.
Web SitesInclude information on your website about Engineers Week. Contact Engineers Week Headquarters for the current logo to display on your site.
"Zoogineering"Zoos and parks are popular places. Work with your local zoo or park service to host a reception and family tour of the engineering that supports these facilities.
Good luck with your program!
To help publicize your activities, use the "National Engineers Week Media Guide".