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Re: Promoting Structural Engineering in High Schools

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Aswin,

	I have no "hands on" experience with promoting engineering at the
school level; but I do have some views on the subject which may be
controversial.  At the risk of offending some people I'll give them to
you anyway.

	We do not now, and never will need more persons from visible minorities
simply to round out someone else's ideas of how the numbers in the
engineering profession should look.  What we do need, and probably
always will, is more people with analytical minds and a strong sense of
responsibility willing to dedicate themselves to a career which will
always be challenging and may occasionally also be frustrating.

	You do no person a service to oversell the profession to someone who
will inevitably become frustrated and leave.  Better they not start in
the first place!

	If you're going to tell them that they will earn between $60,000 and
$150,000 per year you'd better also tell them that they're going to work
60+ hours a week and have a significant chance of being sued if they are
not consistently very diligent in their work.

	If you're going to tell them how fascinating it will be to be part of a
team of experts working on interesting new projects it would only be
fair to also tell them that they will spend many long hours in deep
concentration working alone.  If they don't like the idea of working
alone they may be better off working in sales or in personnel.

	If you're going to tell them about the landmark projects they can point
to with pride you should also tell them about the projects which are
going to be canceled without ever getting off the ground.

	Anyway, you know where I'm coming from.  Good luck with your
promotions.

				Regards,

				H. Daryl Richardson

Aswin Rangaswamy wrote:
>
> Hi:
>
> As a member of the SEAOSC Public Relations Committee, we are trying to
> promote Structural Engineering at the high school level.  I am sure there
> are many organizations around the globe which are trying to do the same.
>
> I would like to hear from people who have been working on this issue.  I am
> sure, quite a few of you would have volunteered for the career day at
> school.  I am looking for hints and suggestions to purse this further.
>
> Thank you.
>
> - Aswin
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Aswin Rangaswamy, P.E.
> Engineer, Structural; SHA Coffman Engineers, CA
> T: 818.285.2650; F: 818.285.2651
> rangaswamy(--nospam--at)sha.coffman.com
> www.coffman.com
>
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