As professional engineers, our work impacts our society in very direct ways. The decisions we make impact the very infrastructure of thousands of people’s everyday life, and that is just through our day job. There are less obvious but equally important ways that we can, and should, be giving back to our communities.
The NSPE Education foundation works with a number of organizations to help provide education and opportunities to students interested in pursuing engineering. These organizations include the MathCounts Foundation, DiscoverE , Real-World Career Experience Exploring® and Project Lead the Way. These programs are all great way for students to learn more about STEM and engineering. The NSPE Education Foundations also offers scholarships to students studying engineering. By supporting them financially, you are supporting the future of professional engineering by making sure kids have exposure to engineering as well as opportunities to pursue it. If you are interested in supporting their work, you can contact your local chapter or one of the organizations the NSPE Education Foundation works with directly.
Engineers Without Borders is an organization that goes to communities in need from around the world and help to meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life. This organization offers a number of different volunteering options, including boots on the ground work as well as consultations on projects and pro bono engineering services to communities that cannot afford to hire engineers.They also offer education to their members and hands on experience to students.They offer a great opportunity to help on a global scale while growing your own skill set.
One of the best ways you can give back to the engineering community is through mentoring. You can reach out to local schools, universities or even to STEM competitions in your area to find out if there are projects or teams you could spend time with and advise. You could also contact local after-school programs to arrange to come in and speak to the students about what it means to be an engineer. By donating your time in this way, you can provide practical examples to students of what engineers can do as well as help to guide their careers.
These are just some examples of how professional engineers can give back to their communities. If you are interested in more opportunities, consider becoming a member of NJSPE. By becoming a member, you help to support the future of professional engineering as well as have the opportunity to participate in one of the NSPE partner programs. Join today!