Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Anna Konstant
Hinsdale Central High School
Most people assume if someone excels at math and science they should pursue a career in engineering.
False. Engineers have to excel at creativity and communication and a good understanding of math and science. Engineers are compared to artists because they invent, build and think outside the box. It’s vital to be able to explain complicated information so that everyone understands it.
Engineers may ask, “How is this built? How can I improve it?”
Over the summer, I participated in an engineering camp at the University of Wisconsin in Platteville and a journalism camp at Eastern Illinois University.
At the engineering camp I explored the different types of engineering while earning college credit. I completed different projects for each type of engineering.
Industrial engineers, for example, work to improve the efficiency of people and processes. An industrial engineer finds ways to make a factory process faster to save a company time and money.
In order to accomplish this, an industrial engineer creates different processes and then chooses the most effective one. The process will include originality, logic, and reasoning. Without these a company can lose money and time.
At the engineering camp, a group and I were given a process to create a product. The first time we did it we were given a specific order in which we had to complete it. Communication was key because the materials needed to travel from one station to another. Also, my group needed to know if there were too many or too few materials.
The second time we were allowed to change the process in order to save time and materials. We incorporated creativity into our design by making the stations closer together and having people multitask at specific stations. Communication was still important in order to make the process run smoothly and efficiently.
Civil engineers design roads, bridges and dams. When a civil engineer constructs a building it is vital to include clean energy resources. Although it is expensive and difficult to work with these types of energy, clean energy will benefit the environment and the company in the long run. The companies will save money because their energy will cost them little or nothing.
For the civil engineer project, my group and I were given a site and we had to layout the design for a new dorm. We communicated with each other when each of us designed a different section of the building. Creativity was involved when designing the building around the restrictions such as space, location, structures and vegetation.
People use engineering in their daily lives even when they don’t realize it. Making scrambled eggs uses engineering when making the process shorter and faster. The creation of structures and processes uses creativity in a way people don’t recognize it.