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What Life Skills Can Engineering Teach High School Students?

Posted by Brenda Ronan on Nov 25, 2019 2:02:00 PM

Attending a STEM summer camp during high school can certainly be beneficial for a student interested in pursuing Engineering as a career or looking to prepare for college. However, there are a lot of other important skills high school students can learn through Engineering as well. Engineering is a broad topic that can include careers as diverse as designing airplane engines to supervising a bridge construction. However, many of the underlying skills required for this broad discipline are similar, such as the reliance on advanced mathematics and statistics.

If you are always interested in how things are made and love math and science, engineering may be a career you should consider. Regardless, learning more about engineering at a high-level across disciplines can benefit all young learners – this is a list of real-world, applicable skills outside of the technical skills students can learn through studying engineering.

  • Problem Solving –Engineering can teach students to properly approach a problem – whether it is an engineering problem or a problem faced in their daily life. While engineers often use their technical skills to solve a problem, like mathematics, anyone can learn to use this analytical approach to defining the problem. Once properly understood, the organization methods employed by engineers can be used to put the problem in the right context and give you the best chance to come up with a great solution. Even without the technical experience, this approach can help you solve problems that arise in your everyday life.
  • Creativity/Innovation – Some of the most difficult problems don’t have an obvious solution – if they did, they would have already been solved. This is why engineers are forced to be so creative; they often face the hardest problems that others could not solve. Thinking outside the proverbial box can bring fresh ideas to the table and is often the way complex issues are resolved. Engineering can teach students to realize that when looking at a problem, nothing is out of bounds – this can open up a whole new world of potential solutions to explore.
  • Resourcefulness – Even without understanding all of the technical methodologies designed to reduce waste, like Lean Six Sigma, engineering can teach students to be resourceful and responsible with materials. As you learn to calculate, design and analyze a process or product, there is a focus on finding economical solutions. A solution that is blatantly inefficient isn’t really a solution. Engineers will continue to work on a design or system to keep seeking greater and greater efficiencies; looking to reduce inefficiency is a great byproduct of learning more about engineering.
  • Persistence – In order to find a perfect solution or become the best you can be, you will need to learn that you can’t bat 1.000 – not every swing will be a hit, much less a home run. There are going to be times you put up your best effort but your solution is ineffective, or worse, a complete failure. This happens to everyone; what you can control is how you respond. The silver lining is that these types of failures can lead to an important attribute – persistence. Not only can you learn valuable lessons from your mistakes, but also learning to dust yourself off and give the next problem your best shot is in itself a fantastic benefit for students; not just in school or work, but in life.
  • Focus – Engineering requires you to think about the entire problem holistically in order to find the most encompassing solution. This requires a lot of focus, which comes with passion and also practice working on problems. By blocking out the noise and getting down to business, you may be surprised how much you can accomplish – often we think we are focused on a problem but haven’t found the next level. This is another competency that is just as helpful outside of engineering as inside.

How JKCP Teaches Students Engineering Skills

JKCP teaches the basics of engineering to high school students through our summer programs. The Engineering classes are designed to be interactive and collaborative. The best part about these classes is that students will learn these skills without even noticing – the hands-on curriculum will keep them engaged so they learn while having fun.

High School Students:

Engineering is a class offered for high school students as part of the JKCP Enrichment program. The class focuses on bringing together math and science to solve problems, allowing students to work on bridging theory with real-world applications. The goal is to mimic the type of problems real engineers face every day; with expert guidance from our engineering instructors, students can race the clock to find the most efficient solution possible using the resources they have. This is a great course for those who love math and may be interested in a career in engineering.

The Enrichment summer program is on campus at Villanova University, in Villanova, PA and is designed to give high school students an opportunity to try new things or improve skills in their favorite field. Students choose a morning and afternoon class from a list of almost 30 courses. Whether you are looking to hone up on their Engineering knowledge or learn about Video game Design, we’ve got you covered!

Topics: High School Summer Programs, Pre-Professional Programs



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