On 4 April 2018 the world celebrated the Global Day of the Engineer honoring engineers, the profession, and contributions that they are making in the workplace, community and overall for society, and their accomplishments. With a number of activities, a team in Wisconsin and Shanghai came up with the idea to make the celebration a month-long community activity and bring engineering to local schools. It was a great way to raise awareness for engineers and dispel some misconceptions about the profession of engineering. Together with DiscoverE our team of volunteers went into the schools and gave a brief presentation about the profession of an engineer. They explained to the students that engineering is essentially formulating a problem, searching for a way to make it go away, and finding a solution. The second part of the time that they spent together was asking the children to get together in teams and tackle a challenge that they had and come up with a solution that can be implemented. They were asked to sketch out drawings of their brainstorming, then put together the final ideas that they wanted to put forward and take a photo. Each project was published on the internal chat site at Kohler Company with the team name, the school, and their location. The project team and the associates could comment and ‘like’ the projects posted. At the beginning of May, it was the time to select a winner. The response to the call to action in the schools was overwhelming. Schools in three different countries took to the drawing boards and came up with fun and interesting problems to be solved each morning. In total 29 classrooms, 186 teams, and over 720 students participated. Although it seems that ‘getting up’ is one of the top hurdles in the kids’ lives, there were plenty of other ideas that caught the project teams’ eyes and attention. Choosing a winner was not an easy task. Many projects were interesting and creative and innovative. In our view, all of the participants were winners as they shared their ideas on a global platform and got a lot of feedback from the engaged adults. The objective of the activities in the school was also to raise awareness of the profession and to let the children know about engineering – after all, they could be the next generation for the profession and it was also a way to create a positive impact in the communities.
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