National Engineering Month invites young people across Canada to explore the many different possibilities that the world of engineering presents to them. A number of recent news stories illustrate the wide range of fun, hands-on activities organized from coast to coast to coast over the course of the last month.
A media campaign kicked off the start of National Engineering Month in British Columbia. This included an op-ed from Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia’s President, Kathy Tarnai-Lokhorst, who called for more girls and young women to enter the engineering profession. More than 150 children from across the province participated in the Science Games at the Telus World of Science in Vancouver in early March, where young people, especially girls, were able to participate in hands-on engineering activities that aimed to inspire a sense of exploration and discovery.
In Manitoba, Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba brought their annual Spaghetti Bridge Competition into two Winnipeg schools in addition to two days at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre. In the schools, volunteer engineers had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of young Manitobans about engineers and their work. Over a four-day period, more than 800 students competed in the spaghetti bridge-building activity, building 476 trusses. These trusses held up a load of 14,577.43 kg, which Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba multiplied by $2 and donated $29,154.86 to Winnipeg Harvest to feed about 150 families for a year.
March 1, 2019, marked the second annual #PEngDay, an official celebration of professional engineers in the province.
In Windsor, the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Engineering, sponsored by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering and Let’s Talk Science, hosted close to 80 Girl Guides as they built bridges, circuits, and water filters to earn engineering, science and water badges.
In Belleville, 30 to 40 high school students participated in the 17th Annual Popsicle Stick Building Contest, while students in Lindsay likewise participated in the second annual Lindsay Engineering Challenge and students in Peterborough took part in the Peterborough Engineering Challenge building gliders.
Consulting Engineers Ontario also celebrated National Engineering Month with a photo contest, asking the public to vote on the 35 project submissions entered to the 2019 Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards.
The month kicked off with the Government of Saskatchewan proclaiming March 3-9 as Engineering and Geoscience Week in recognition of the significant contributions that the members of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) make in the province. With the assistance of the Ministry of Education, APEGS purchased the movie Dream Big: Engineering Our World and circulated it to all schools in the province. About 100 schools in 45 communities across the province were hosting showings of the film during National Engineering Month, with approximately 150 engineers and geoscientists involved in presenting the movie to students.
The end of March does not mean that the celebration of engineering ends—indeed the spirit of National Engineering Month lives on year-round. Some provinces may still be hosting events to introduce young Canadians to engineering, and information and activities that aim to spark a young person’s interest in engineering are available all year long on Engineers Canada Explore Engineering website.