Eweek is a favorite activity of college engineering programs, providing a chance for departments to show off their gee-whiz stuff and for undergrads to glory in their declared professions. Many universities hold competitions and open houses during the week, and corporations and government labs get in on the fun, too.
The theme for this year’s Eweek is “7 billion people. 7 billion dreams. 7 billion chances for engineers to turn dreams into reality.” It is a call for engineers to rise to the challenges that a projected world population of 7 billion will present.
This Thursday is set aside to “Celebrate the G in Engineer,” a day when engineers are encouraged to introduce girls and young women to engineering careers. According to the eweek.org website, more than one million girls in grades K-12 have been introduced to engineering since the “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” program began in 2001.
Started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, the weeklong event is now sponsored by the National Engineers Week Foundation, which shares a common roof with the NSPE in Alexandria, Va. The Wikipedia page for National Engineers Week says that Eweek is linked the annual celebration Presidents Day which coincides with George Washnigton’s birthday and recognition of GW’s surveying work, qualifying him as the nation’s first engineer.
The Foundation has several year-round outreach programs, too.
The New Faces of Engineering program is a way for engineers (up to 30 years old) on the rise in their careers to be recognized by their engineering colleagues. The Future City is a competition program that targets middle school students and culminates with a final competition in Washington, D.C. during Eweek. Another program is the DiscoverE Classroom Visits, for which the Foundation has provided educational materials to an army of 45,000 engineers who have spread the good news about engineering to more than five million students.