Career Spark for Kids: Mechanical Engineering
Cultivating a child’s interests as they develop and evolve, will help both you and the student when they reach the education choices that start in middle and high school.
Kids are often fascinated with mechanical things and the way the work. These interest can lead to career interest in mechanical engineering, plumbing, civil engineering, architecture, mechanical repair, construction, toy and packaging design, supply chain management and others.
There are many ways to foster their curiosities
Video games that I have seen foster mechanical interests:
Minecraft (now owned by Microsoft)
Crazy Machines – puzzles and contraptions by FAKT Software/Viva Media
I don’t have experience with most of the following games in this cool article. The article is also from 2012, so some of the games may have disappeared, but I wanted to include them, because Wired does a good job with their evaluations.
And this list by Wired Magazine of 8 Video Games to Get Your Kids Into Engineering
TV Shows worth watching
Modern Marvels (History Channel) – Shows the world’s biggest machines. Creates an interest in the machines and how they are designed. It also shows a huge variety of work places and activities. This puts the machines in context of how they are used.
How it is Made (Science Channel) – This show gives exposure to a wide variety of things being manufactured from 3-D printers, hot dogs, ATMs and baseball bats to crystal chandeliers and lipstick cases.
Unwrapped (Food Network) – This show is all about food manufacturing, so foodies love it and so do those interested in machines and logistics.
Mythbusters (Discovery Channel) – The problem solving skills presented here is fascinating. It also gives interesting perspective of fabrication of equipment. It is a stretch on typical capabilities of work in a workshop, but wonderful for the curious.
If your TV package doesn’t have access to these shows, they are all available to be watched for free from the internet. If you have the ability to record the shows to watch later, it is a great way to manage TV watching time with quality, interesting value.
There are also many factories that have tours available to let kids see how the business works. The best department to ask for if the company is big, is public relations. If the company is small then ask for human resources and explain that you want your kids to understand the jobs at a factory and especially those working with the equipment. The more detail you give, the better your tour experience will be.