This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Exploring Engineering for Career, Interview with Engineering Expectations. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
Exploring Engineering for Career, Interview with Engineering Expectations
One of the most important subjects for homeschool high schoolers is Career Exploration. While they cannot know everything about the future, it is important for teens to begin to think about what happens after graduation. Many teens do not have a clue until they spend some time in a comprehensive Career Exploration course and discovering various careers.
These days, one of the most in-demand (and good-paying) career is engineering. So Vicki was excited to meet Megan from Engineering Expectations (a program that gives teens a chance to explore this valuable career).
Exploring Engineering with Megan from Engineering Expectations
Megan decided she wanted to be an engineer probably in her high school years. Her interest in it soared when she fractured her spine and had to wear a brace for six months. And even though she was required to wear it twenty-four hours a day for six months, it only had a fifty-percent chance of healing.
When she went to get fitted for the brace she walked into this big warehouse that was filled with all different braces and prosthetics.
She was flat out amazed at all of those different devices! She started looking into who makes these devices and how she could turn this into a career. Her parents told her about engineering, so that is when she started digging in. Megan had always excelled at math and science, and those are the subjects she also really enjoyed. She really wanted to pursue it. However, she did not have any engineers in her family, so she really did not understand what engineers do.
Megan had tons of questions about it, since there are so many different types of engineering. Thus, she wondered how all these types align with what she actually wanted to do in the real world.
In her senior year of high school, she took a career aptitude test with her guidance counselor. It actually came out that she should be a social worker. And because her SAT scores were not very good, she was discouraged about pursuing engineering or getting into a good engineering school.
However, even though she was a little intimidated, Megan decided to trust herself, brave the future and move forward with it! So, she ended up getting into a really good engineering college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester.
Through hard work she was able to get three internships each summer.
Her last internship was working for a global multi-billion dollar medical device company, Boston Scientific. That is where she fell in love and stayed on part-time throughout senior year.
Tip for homeschool high schoolers:
Megan learned that getting any sort of engineering experience and hands-on work is key to success! That’s what employers really want. Her internships allowed her to get a full-time job working there immediately upon graduation and has been very successful there.
Because of the frustration Megan felt about the opposition of pursuing her engineering dreams from her guidance counselors she started helping other high schoolers through their engineering expectations.
Engineering Expectations provides tools and resources to help engineering for teens. It delivers information so they can understand what engineers really do and help them figure out what type of engineering is best for them so they can feel confident going into college that they made the right choice.
How Megan Got Started Investing In The Next Generation
For starters, Megan wanted to offer the help she never received in high school. She remembers wishing she had a resource or mentor in high school that could give her a little bit of confidence and direction when she was exploring engineering.
The job is so rewarding and much more hands on and more practical than theoretical. For instance, her experience from her medical device company: where she was designing medical devices and mentoring a team of seven younger engineers.
The mentoring showed Megan how much she loves teaching.
Because she enjoyed teaching so much, she left the engineering industry and went into academia!
Not only that, Megan noticed so many kids graduating from school with a huge gap between academics and industry. Engineering industry is looking for experience, not just what college is teaching you. Megan really wanted to bridge that gap.
She went on to assist the engineering program at a college and taught a freshman course. Additionally, she was also an academic advisor for engineering students. And there she witnessed so many of the same questions the kids were having about engineering as a whole, what it is, and what they would be doing in the future.
And this is how Engineering Expectations began.
Exploring Engineering for Career Exploration For High Schoolers
Engineering Skills List
If you go to their website, Engineering Expectations, you can get their engineering skills list for free. Within this list, kids will learn:
- more about exploring engineering and
- about soft skills and hard skills (the technical stuff).
- The key to separating good engineers from great engineers is the competency of the soft skills.
Are You Fit For Engineering Workbook
High schoolers can also see the Are you Fit for Engineering workbook on their website. This workbook walks kids through their 3-step process to figuring out if engineering is the right path for them. It explains more about engineering for teens and goes through the engineering skillset as well as how it aligns with the teen’s skillset and their interests.
The workbook also:
- dives into what engineers really do and
- delivers information about the design process
- as well as gives an example of a day in the life of an engineer.
- And then it gives an overview of all the different types of engineers
- and recommended strategy for how to choose a type because that can be really challenging.
Engineering Major Exploration Database
This database is really fun, and Megan had a blast making this product. She interviewed over twenty different engineers in all different stages of their careers where they give career advice.
They discuss what degree they pursued and then what they are actually doing with it now so students can really understand all the opportunities available for engineers.One woman Megan interviewed worked with NASA who is trying to design satellites that have been orbiting around for about five years that need a battery replacement. And she is trying to design it from here on Earth.
Engineering Expectations Academy
This is a hands-on course that teaches teens the design process in depth, which is really how engineers actually solve problems. Teens will be exploring engineering by experiencing what engineering is and then they get to work through a real life example on their own.
Connect with Megan at Engineering Expectations
Thank you to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post!
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