Focus on Providing the Skills to Become the Engineers of Tomorrow

February 13, 2017

From a light switch in a small, rural village to the transportation systems in a sprawling city, engineers have a fingerprint on nearly all aspects of life. As we move further into the 21st Century, how do we prepare the next generation of engineers?

Students and educators at Stratford School are celebrating engineers and the many contributions they make to society during DiscoverE’s Engineers Week February 19 to 25. The school’s 23 locations and nearly 6,000 students will celebrate by spending nearly 20,000 hours on engineering coursework and projects during the week.

“As engineering, science, healthcare and technology jobs increase significantly in the coming decades, it’s vital that we develop creative problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills in our students,” says Monisha Gupta, senior director of Curriculum and Instruction at Stratford. “We know that balancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics with visual/performing arts and social sciences produces outstanding students who are able to succeed and thrive in a changing world.”

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor, 65 percent of today’s grade school students will eventually hold jobs that have yet to be invented. Collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity skills will be essential skills for these new jobs. So, how is this happening at Stratford?

“Stratford’s proven STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) curriculum introduces critical thinking, real-life problem solving, and innovation to students beginning in preschool through eighth grade,” says Gupta. “This encourages our students to begin asking the right questions and identifying and analyzing possible solutions, in addition to building a base of fundamental knowledge in core subjects.”

Stratford teaches engineering in its STEAM curriculum throughout the entire year. Examples of student classroom projects include creating roadways and control systems that alleviate traffic jams, constructing blood vessels and heart lung models, designing artificial limbs and constructing cities of the future that use less energy and produce less waste.

This year, three Stratford teams won numerous awards in the 2017 Future City regional competition sponsored by DiscoverE. One of the three award-winning Stratford teams has been invited to present their Future City concept to leaders of the City of Oakland on March 17.

Engineers Week runs February 19 to 25, 2017. Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, Engineers Week celebrates how engineers make a difference in the world by bringing it to life for kids, educators and parents. For more information about Engineers Week, please visit http://www.discovere.org.

Read the full press release HERE