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Ella, Claire, Gracie and Alexandra, Seattle

AddedTuesday, January 7, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Did you face an problems in becoming an engineer?
Did you have any trouble becoming an engineer? If so, what was the trouble and how did you overcome those problems? If you didn't have problems, what are the types of problems people have? We would like to know because we are doing a project in school about how more girls need to become engineers, so we need more information on the the topic. Thank you! Claire, Ella, Gracie and Alexandra, 4th graders at APP @ Lincoln Elementary
Related to Opportunities/Challenges for Women
  • Linda Schadler , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Answered Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Every engineer runs in to challenges! Part of being an engineer is learning how to be comfortable with challenging problems that cause some degree of frustration. The biggest challenge I faced, and I see students facing, is a strong understanding of math and physics, and AS importantly a comfort level with tools and building and rebuilding. When you are confident in your ability to try out an idea, and are not uncomfortable with being wrong – instead are comfortable with just trying again – then you have won half the battle of becoming an engineer.



  • Julia Phillips , Sandia National Laboratories
    Answered Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 3:09 PM
    Hi Ella, Claire, Gracie and Alexandra, Thanks for your question – it’s a good one! There are challenges in doing pretty much anything that is worthwhile, and engineering is no exception. I think that one of the most important things is to keep at it, even when it’s hard. Have you ever had a homework problem or a project that was SO hard that you didn’t think you could ever finish it? And then when you did, you felt SO good – like you were on top of the world. That’s sort of like what I’ve always found both fun and challenging about engineering – there are lots of hard problems, but with hard work, perseverance, and working with the right team, you can accomplish really big important goals. Some of the ingredients of success are to build a really good foundation of math and science skills, to practice never giving up, and to learn that you don’t have to solve problems all by yourself. Today, you can work with your classmates (two or more heads are better than one), and your teachers are there to help. In the future, you will have colleagues with whom you can work, share ideas, and solve important problems together. Good luck! Julia