On-the-job training: Kids, engineering, fun

Question: How do you get kids excited about a career in engineering? Answer: Make it fun.  Phoenix Contact celebrated National Engineers Week by hosting hands-on learning activities for local sixth-grade students.

By Marc Moschetto February 22, 2008

Question: How do you get kids excited about a career in engineering?
Answer: Make it fun.
How does an airplane’s wing create lift ? How can a light wind make a bridge collapse ? What does it take to build an electric motor ? These are some of the questions sixth-grade students from Pennsylvania’s Middletown Area Middle School were able to answer during a week-long event held at Phoenix Contact’s Middletown, PA, headquarters.

This engineering-driven educational outreach program was designed to not only bring science principles alive in a fun, hands-on way. It also enables Phoenix Contact employees to share excitement and enthusiasm for their profession with the next genertion of engineers.

Math and science are crucial to our society and economy. Help excite youth about engineering, as did Phoenix Contact recently with

“Today fewer young people are entering engineering and other science-related fields, but science and math are crucial to the success of our society and economy,” said Jack Nehlig, president of Phoenix Contact USA. “Our employees want to share their love of science and math with these students by taking their lessons beyond the classroom.

This program stands as an excellent example of how automation technology providers and manufacturers alike can help to balance in-classroom education with “real world” applications to create a more inviting and interesting learning environment for students of all ages.

“We have a long-standing relationship with some local schools and many of our engineers visit classrooms and present to students… the Engineers’ Week activities expand upon those activities by allowing kids to see the type of work environment they could experience as well,” said Patricia Marrero, Phoenix Contact’s manager of organizational development. 

This approach also benefits Phoenix Contact when seeking new engineers to join their ranks. The company has an active internship program which provides the organization with an excellent pool of talent for filling entry-level engineering positions. The education continues via an apprentice program which enables new Phoenix full-time employees to continue their educative process and learn different aspects of the business from the inside-out.
For more information on Phoenix Contact’s internship and apprentice programs, visit www.phoenixcon.com and the “Company” link in the navbar at the top of the page. Phoenix Contact provides electrical connections between conductors and printed circuits boards, automation technologies, signal level matching, and surge voltage protection.
Also read, from Control Engineering :
Engineers Week:
Closing the Skills Gap cover story

Marc Moschetto, editorial director
Control Engineering
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