Seeing as it is National Engineers Week, let’s talk about what might get young adults more interested in STEM and engineering.
Practically all of them have spent their time holding and using a cell phone and or a game controller. While made of plastic, what they do all takes place inside the box and can be pretty nebulous to a teen.
Maybe if we use concepts less hazy, we can stir some interest. For the vast majority of teens that participate in athletics, look around at your equipment, clothing and playing environment. In football alone, helmet, mouth guard, pads, even shoe cleats all made of plastic and performing specific functions that enhance the game or make it more safe!
Posing questions to them about how it is made or where it comes from, can stir some interest. How it is designed to perform its function? Even the field beneath their feet, if it is artificial, it is plastic!
Take a look at it to see exactly what is there and its composition. The same is true for baseball and soccer. When it comes to clothing, you can call their attention that the “synthetic” weaves and that it is plastic! This broadens out to even swimmers, basketball players, and track participants. Non-wood bats, tennis racquets, graphite golf shafts, and even racing car bodies all made better by composite plastics.
Whether for safety or performance or both, plastic and an engineer’s ability to make it into a product that teens use every day is the perfect in to talk about how STEM enables a person to make people’s live better!
Read another article about National Engineers Week
Engineers Week: how do we get teens thinking STEM while looking around their everyday world?