Organizations Work to Sell the Public on Engineering

Raising Public Awareness of Engineering, a study recently released by the National Academy of Engineering, Washington, D.C., identifies various agencies, organizations and firms that are working to increase public awareness of and appreciation for engineering.

02/03/2003


Raising Public Awareness of Engineering, a study recently released by the National Academy of Engineering, Washington, D.C., identifies various agencies, organizations and firms that are working to increase public awareness of and appreciation for engineering.

The study advises that the continuing success of this mission will depend on a coordinated effort by these groups, and it points to the irony that at a time when the lives of the general public are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, their understanding of the engineering mission has decreased.

The report suggests that the K-12 educational system has not done an adequate job of teaching math and science, and that engineering and technology are rarely a part of the curricula. Furthermore, the study claims that public opinion surveys demonstrate attempts to improve public awareness of engineering have had little impact, despite the organizations’ efforts to educate people.

As part of the Public Awareness study, the NAE commissioned a survey of the engineering community to determine what activities various groups are engaged in. Most of these activities are local or regional, with such notable exceptions as the National Society of Professional Engineers’ National Engineers Week, which NPSE founded in 1951.

The study recommends that organizations combine their resources for greater impact. Ideas floated by the study include: a web site that shares ideas across the entire engineering community; education of the media; and new TV programming for children.

For more information, visit the National Academy of Engineering web site at: www.nae.edu .





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