A Broad Education is Important
To be a good engineer, you'll need communications and teamwork skills -- the kinds of skills you get by trying new things and taking a wide selection of classes in school. Don't wait until high school to begin exploring different classes and opportunities to learn about the variety in the world.
Communication skills are critical to success in any career. Take every opportunity to strengthen you reading, writing, and speaking skills. That means four years of language classes that can include English composition, literature, speech/communications, debate, and journalism/broadcasting.
Already know a second language? Great! If not, consider taking a couple of years of foreign language classes. Learning about the culture and customs of another country is fun and can be a valuable job skill.
History and Geography
It's a small world, and getting smaller. Many engineers are working in other countries or in cooperation with engineers from other countries. Understanding history and the governments in other parts of the world gives you perspective. Courses you may want to consider taking now and in the future include U.S. history, ancient and world history, government, and current events.
Test your geographic knowledge at the National Geographic Bee.
Creativity is an important part of engineering and there are lots of opportunities to explore the arts in your community. Explore visual arts like sketching, sculpting, painting, photography, and film. Performing arts, such as dance, drama, choir, and band also take teamwork, which is another important skill for engineers.
To be an athlete, you don't have to be the on the school basketball team or spend your weekend training for a triathlon. Athletics of any kind, from swimming at the community pool to a canoe trip with the church youth group, are opportunities to be active, stay healthy, and learn discipline and teamwork.
Other Engineering Courses
If you are lucky enough to be at a school that offers special courses in pre-engineering and technology then definitely take them. It's a great way to give yourself a step up along the engineering path.
For a chance to win up to $500, imagine how engineering can help your community. Then write a plea to your city or county council to make the case for an infrastructure improvement.
Also, don't forget to look for our EngineerGirl booth at Invent It. Build It.(IIBI) IIBI is a hands-on engineering experience for girls in grades 6-12, and their families. Join 10,000 women engineers from around the globe in Austin, TX on Saturday, October 28th to prove that girls can be engineers!
Learn more and register.