Discovering Engineering: Kids Need to Play With Technology

This week First Book is sharing stories about science and engineering from some of our friends at Lockheed Martin. Today’s guest blogger is Steven Koski, an electrical engineer with Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin engineer Steven Koski shares his story with First Book

I grew up in Troy, MI in the suburbs of Detroit. I knew about engineering because my dad was an engineer and I decided to pursue it at the University of Michigan because I knew it was a very flexible degree. Even after graduating with my undergraduate degree, I was still very unsure of where I wanted to take my career. I tried many different fields from working as a software engineer to researching drug delivery and neuro-engineering as a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering with thoughts of going to med school. I finally found my true aspirations of being in charge of large-scale projects as an engineer and I am currently in the progress of obtaining my Masters in Business Administration to complement my technical background in order to work in the future as a Program Manager.

The best way to inspire students to enter the field of engineering is to encourage them to work with new technology. Having children/students working with computers or playing with technical devices like iPhones or a Nintendo Wiis will engage the students and stimulate an interest in technology. This initial interest is critical for a student who will someday pursue a technical degree. Teachers can further engage the student in engineering by demonstrating many unique or cross-field technologies that are being developed. This would include nano-engineered devices (nano-scaled machines designed to enhance our everyday lives); biomedical devices used for treating diseases like Parkinson’s Disease, cancer, diabetes; and integrated systems like iPhones, iPads and appliances that can be controlled remotely.

Ultimately, students need to see the potential uses of technology – including how technology is crossing non-traditional barriers into other industries – in order to become interesting in pursuing a career in engineering.

If you’re a student, what do you think of Steven’s job? What do you like (or dislike) about studying science and math in school?