You could tell from all the excitement and chatter among all the kids that career day was finally here.
When I was a young kid, “what do you want to be when I grow up?” was a diﬃcult question to answer. I remember thinking astronaut or fighter pilot. My Dad often promoted being a cop, and I’d joke with him, saying I’d want to be a firefighter.
Though the possibilities seemed endless, I remember wondering, what would be fun? That’s what I was able to share today with these young minds.
The kids were so eager to learn and hear something new. At first not many knew what an engineer does, but very quickly understood when they saw some of the cool tools I was able to use to create objects on the screen with SOLIDWORKS, such as putting a flying jet in a “flat spin”—the laughs and ooooohs and aaaaaahs were great!
Custom 3D Printed Part
Next, the kids and I tackled a pog keychain with their school logo embossed on the front and a hole for a key ring to snap in. I explained the step-by-step process: create an oval, apply dimension, sketch a picture, emboss the school logo, cut a hole, and color. Every time a “green check” was clicked the creativity in the room exploded!
Students came up with all kinds of ideas and comments: the best being “I want to be an engineer when I grow up” with several yeahs that followed—in one case, the entire class! Of course, the kids were very interested in 3D printing and asked all kinds of questions, such as how big? And print in what materials?
Engineers Work Hard but Have Fun
I shared with them that I love my job and work isn’t really working when you enjoy it. The best part was that each student was able to take a one-of-a-kind custom 3D printed part home with them that day to remind them that school can be tough sometimes and so can becoming an engineer, but to always remember to stay in school, be creative, and work hard. (Printed on Stratasys’ New F Series printer by GoEngineer RP Team.)
I have a challenge for you.
After reading this, make a resolution to mentor a young student. Share with them what you enjoy about your career and job and how you got there, and remind them to be creative and work hard. Give a priceless gift, so to speak. It’s very rewarding.
Top Career-Day Questions
How much money do you make? Answer: Enough to drive a nice truck and go to Disneyland whenever I want!
Want does an engineer do? Answer: Everything you see in this room, the pens, pencils, desks, computers, monitors, clothes, are designed by a guy or gal just like me.
What your favorite thing about your job? Answer: I can be creative, make anything I want (through printing) and I get to learn something new every day.
Special thanks to Mark Scheetz, Josh Zuniga, Mark Wolfley, and Mark Bashor for the 3D prints.
And finally a thank you to GoEngineer for allowing me to do this and making my job even that much cooler.
In case you’re curious, the young students still have the printed school pogs on their backpacks today.