My objective in writing Engineering Stories is to encourage students to consider or continue careers in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), show what it may be like, dispel a myth or two, and encourage creativity, problem solving, and the confidence to make the world a better place. It is also my hope that teachers will take an interest in using these stories to increase their own understanding of engineering and thus be better able to convey it to students.
As an engineer, I use feedback in determining if a mechanical system is on course; I need the same kind of feedback here. Please reply and let me know the following:
- What Engineering Stories did you read?
- What did you experience while your read them?
- Did the story make you more interested in engineering?
- How could the stories be improved to achieve the goal?
Thanks for enjoying Engineering Stories.
About Kenneth Richard Hardman
AncestorClips are very short stories about very real people. Each clip nurtures awareness of a time, a place, and the character of a man or woman who cultivated a path for our life. The reader feels the good, the obstacles, the happiness, the sadness, and the overcoming. They cheer us, make us resilient when challenged, give us purpose, and connect us to our multi-generational family. Each story is followed by reflections from the author and readers sharing how the story strengthened or inspired them.
Ken Hardman is a son, a brother, a grandson, a great-grandson… He is also a husband, father and grand-father. Ken is a professional engineer, engineering mentor, technical writer, and associate technical fellow at a major aerospace company. He is a writer of engineering and family history stories. Please join Ken in reading, reflecting upon, or writing #AncestorClips
When talking about Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) in education, we need more precise descriptions of WHAT the topic content of science is, what we DO with science, and how we APPLY it to the world around us. When I refer to “STEM” as a “table of contents”, I also recognize that the artistic methods of visualizing, writing, and finding context in culture and history are important to the process and procedures of “doing science”. So, put into the standard sentence structure, the “STEM content” is the subject, the “artistic method” is the verb, and the “real-world application” is the object.
What we need, I believe, is a comprehensive, modularized curriculum framework, beginning with the STEM content delivered in high schools and colleges. The content of each module and lesson would be prepared by “experts”, packaged by instructional technologists using “best practices” for effective learning with interactive multimedia, and finally presented using open-source, online delivery channels.
The content modules within this framework would have the STEM topics arranged in a sequence using a systems approach as one dimension. A second dimension would then be a tag or label that clearly identifies the “Basic Workplace Skill Set” needed for successful entry into six occupational levels, starting with “Home & Consumer” to “User/Operator” and so on to “Engineer”, and “Scientist”.
Connections with the Communication, Social, and Cultural Arts (CSCA) would be specified with the appropriate techniques, methods, and practices used in the occupational skill levels. These processes and activities would be developed in collaboration with specialists from non-STEM areas.
The grid would then be expanded and cross-connected with Career & Technical Education (CTE) pathways, so students could select applications and projects relevant to their career interests and preferences.
Such a framework, then, would allow students to pursue their own pathways through the multi-dimensional learning space of possibilities along the three content, skill level, and career directions. They would also meet required standards by touching certain “milestones” along the way,. There would be flexibility to participate in collaborative classroom projects, while stepping up the proficiency ladder to advanced and related topics at their own pace, using online resources.