|dc.description.abstract||The United States is nearing an engineering crisis. The need for technical professionals is growing rapidly and universities are unable to meet the demand due to declining enrollment. Students are coming out of high school with little or no interest in technical fields, and the ones that do show interest are often lacking the math and science background required.
Research has shown that a majority of students are not knowledgeable about engineering as a career option. Investigation is needed to learn how we can increase awareness of engineering and its value to the world. A pilot survey was developed and administered to students in both elementary and high school classes, to learn student opinions on the subject. Measures of the survey were as follows:
1) Student career aspirations. It was found that younger students often select careers which followed their parents’ footsteps, while older students selected careers in fields where they showed talent.
2) Feelings toward school subjects, mathematics and science in particular. The most common reason given for enjoying a subject was that it was “fun;” opinions of math and science declined as students grew older and found the classes “boring”.
3) General knowledge of engineering. Most students associated “engineering” to cars and trains via the word “engine,” only 15% could correctly described the field.
This paper reviews already published writing on this issue, as well as development, administration, and results of the pilot survey.||