The young people finishing high school face a difficult decision in choosing their future path. Thus, all the possibilities for the students to experience University life and interact with different professionals bring more clarity to the young minds. The city development agency Klaipėda ID organizes a unique program “Engineers of the Future”. This fall, the program took place for the 4th time and helped 140 students meet professional engineers.
Meeting the team of Interactio
At first, the “Engineers of the Future” program was initiated with the high school students in mind, but it has become apparent that younger students would benefit from the program as well. This fall for the first time 7th and 8th grade students joined the program. Such experiences are not only helpful in choosing the study program after graduation but also make a valuable contribution to the study programs at the schools. 86% of the participating students claimed that such integrated experiences are the best way to get to know the various professions and make their study program choices more informed.
“The students who are considering engineering as a program of studies at a University or College highly value such company visits. They get an opportunity to meet the engineers, witness their daily routines and ask the questions they might have. The teachers are not always able to answer all the questions. Such experiences bring more clarity to the minds of the young people and make their decisions easier,” – explains Klaipėda Aukuras high school career development advisor Violeta Venckuvienė.
Experiencing virtual reality
Important questions for the professional engineers
This fall, the program “Engineers of the Future” exposed the participating students to numerous companies and so demonstrated the role of engineering in various industries. The students visited the two most successful Klaipėda startups “Interactio” and “Whatagraph”, saw the complex processes at large manufacturing companies “Mars Lithuania” and “Orion Global PET”, got to meet the engineers at “Fortum” and “Vėjo Projektai” that work with important sustainability and innovation challenges, and found out how complex digital solutions are created in “Telesoftas”, “Creative Partner” and “Omega Technology”.
What does it take to get from an initial product idea to an actual working product? Which programming language should I learn today? What motivates the engineers? These are just some of the questions that the students brought to the professional engineers in the companies and Universities. All engineers claimed that the key motivator is the ability to do the work that they enjoy. Engineering, they explained, is especially exciting as it lets develop solutions that are used by so many different people and often improve their lives considerably.
At the office of Whatagraph
Encouraged by the University experiences
In addition to the company visits, the students got to experience life at Klaipėda University, Klaipėda State University of Applied Sciences, Lithuanian Maritime Academy and SMK University of Applied Social Sciences. It was encouraging to see the curiosity and engagement of the young people, who found a common language with the University lecturers very easily.
Getting to know Telesoftas
The energy and excitement of the participating students tell the Klaipėda ID team that the program is appreciated and needs to grow. In the words of the Klaipėda ID Project Manager Alina Šoparė: “Here at Klaipėda ID we aim to help young people better understand engineering overall as an academic field and an exciting profession. We also hope that these visits will help establish continuous collaborations among the industry, higher education institutions and high schools in Klaipėda. The interest that the students and their teachers expressed in this program is growing, so we have no intention to stop – we hope to expand the program and involve more schools.”
The program “Engineers of the Future” will invite the students again in the spring of 2020.