September 4, 2007

Science again - what it means

From the globe this morning, another article about the need for more engineers. It's important to note now that the choices you make in high-school are influenced by ... Television and yes counselors who are not informed, and parents.

"For example, most school career counsellors are woefully uninformed on what engineers and scientists actually do and the amazing variety of career opportunities. Students tend to gravitate toward careers that they see and hear a lot about. That's why law and medicine are so popular. Television hits such as Law & Order and ER actually have a career choice impact. Perhaps what we need is a suspense drama featuring engineers dealing with a collapsing dam, stress cracking in a jumbo jet wing, a medical equipment crisis or a plot to destroy the Internet."

I heard through a conversation the other day that CSI - the tv show - is causing a spike in enrollment for this type of program at school. People will say this is good, I say I'm not sure, for starter in real life they don't have all the time in the world to find/prove who the killer is, things are much more superficial. The science they go to apply in real life is no where near the same. I agree with the writer we need a kind of MCGiver show on technology, or the A-Team!

"While all scientific professions are important to Canada's future, the most often quoted measure of technical competitiveness is new engineering graduates. By this measure, Asian countries are beating the West hands down, and quality is generally very high."

Chances are that China is going to zap a lot of jobs, and if they are the ones who understand the products we use every day we're in trouble - we need to have the capability to innovate, on top of using. As a kid what I liked most was fiddling with things, and taking things apart - we need to bring this to school. We're putting a Robot building competition together for Ottawa schools, we're also putting a take that computer apart class this fall for a few select schools in Ottawa - if you can, or you are willing to help, drop me a note.

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