Challenging middle school students with big world problems

Visioneering is part of the SMU's annual celebration of National Engineers Week

 

February 13, 2009

Dallas (SMU) – What kind of engineering solutions will middle school students find to power the school of the future?

Visioneering LogoOne thousand Dallas-area sixth, seventh and eighth grade students will work feverishly to answer that question at Southern Methodist University’s Visioneering program for future engineers from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, in SMU’s Moody Coliseum 

The high-energy event will combine a design contest and technology expo to present engineering as a fun, exciting and challenging career opportunity to the generation that will soon take the reins of the technology revolution.

Visioneering is an annual event hosted by the SMU Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering to celebrate National Engineers Week while reaching out to introduce young students to the field of engineering. Lyle Engineering makes K-12 outreach a priority because the United States is facing an engineering deficit: As society continues to become more reliant on technology, fewer students graduate with engineering degrees from the nation’s universities.

During Visioneering 2009, budding engineers will be challenged to imagine 20 years into the future when traditional sources of energy are no longer available.  They will plan to create, deliver and store clean, sustainable power for their school’s computers, lights, heating and cooling systems as well as buses.

“This year’s challenge has been inspired by the realities we deal with every day in terms of our finite natural resources and our society’s ever-increasing appetite for energy,” says Tammy L. Richards, associate dean of the Lyle School of Engineering. “Engineers will play a vital role in developing energy solutions that will power our society’s future.”

The event is co-sponsored by Lyle School of Engineering, Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Fluor Corp. and Turner Construction. It will be hosted by The Caruth Institute for Engineering Education at SMU.

Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Engineers Week is celebrated annually by thousands of engineers, engineering students, teachers and leaders in government and business. In 1990, the National Engineers Week consortium expanded its scope and now includes more than 100 engineering, scientific and education societies, and major corporations dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of technology and the engineering profession.

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