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AddedThursday, January 8, 2015 at 8:45 PM

How do I prepare in middle school?
My passion is to be a very sucessful engineer when i'm older. Right now i'm only in 6th grade but i want to get my self on the right path for becoming an engineer what steps can i take right now
Related to Preparation for College
  • Jennifer Gilleece , Network Rail
    Answered Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 8:45 PM

    The main thing is to make sure you choose the right subjects in school – Maths and Physics as a minimum. Also, work hard to get good grades. If you think you might be interested in an engineering field related to Chemistry/Biology bear that in mind and add those subjects. Material or design technology subjects are also often done by future engineers although I didn’t study those myself. Some business and/or environmental subjects would be useful because the best engineers are rounded people, understand the world around them and how the company they work in operates. Studying Business would also be useful if you decided to start your own company in the future.

    As for things you can do now – in addition to keeping your grades up, if your school or local community offer afterschool clubs where you can do projects, participating in them will give you good experience. Ideally they will be engineering projects where you design/build/invent something but even if they are not, they will give you experience (and evidence for interviewers and assessors in the future) of working as part of a team, overcoming difficult situations, delivering a project to given timescales and within the limitations you are given (eg cost, physical size, etc). Even if there is no after school clubs already doing this type of activity perhaps you and some friends could identify a competition or challenge that you would be interested in working on together or do one on your own? There is a page on this website that highlights competitions and activities you could look at for a start, including the essay competition which you could do yourself.

  • Jamie Krakover , The Boeing Company
    Answered Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 8:45 PM
    Jennifer gave you some great advice. A solid foundation in math and science is extremely important to engineering. I would also add, if you can get on a mathematics path that will get you into calculus your senior year of high school that's extremely helpful toward college classes. Studying hard and keeping your grades up is also important. Colleges will want to see a good GPA and good test scores.
    Jennifer's suggestion about getting involved in clubs is also good. Anything STEM related like Science Olympiad, or FIRST Robotics would compliment your studies well. But don't feel like you have to overload yourself with science/math extracurriculars. One or two is good. It's important to be involved in things and well rounded, but they don't all have to be science and math. 
    I would also emphasize the importance of English and Communications skills. These are often overlooked for engineers, but the ability to communicate your ideas effectively and to write with good grammar and sentence structure is extremely important. If your school offers a class in technical writing, and/or public speaking it wouldn't hurt to get a jump on some of these skills as well.
    I wish you luck on your journey to becoming an engineer, and it sounds like you are already on the right track in your hunt to find the right path to travel. :)