As the U.S. aims to create new jobs requiring highly skilled workers, the next generation of engineers are needed now more than ever.

Green_Glowing_Fibers_SmallThe way the U.K. teaches engineering is a lot more exciting these days. The curriculum has evolved from making matchbox holders in woodworking to designing circuit boards and electronics. Design and Technology, D&T, was introduced around 20 years ago and takes a holistic approach to learning. Science and math principles are taught through hands-on activities, not through rote learning. Students learn by making things, making mistakes and learning from both. D&T can help shape the next generation of engineers.

While D&T is growing in the U.K., it’s all but absent in the U.S. At a time when engineering is in such high demand, D&T should be considered as part of the school day. Science and engineering vacancies are anticipated to grow 70 percent faster than other jobs, but there won’t be enough qualified people to fill them. With China trending to overtake the U.S. as the number one economy, ensuring the next generation is equipped with the skills needed to engineer the future is paramount.

Education reform is top on the government’s agenda, and nearly everyone has an opinion on how to solve the learning lag. STEM education has become the poster child for education leaders. And while there is a renewed emphasis on math and science, the same cannot be said of their less popular siblings, engineering and technology. Very rarely are all four concepts taught in one lesson.

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Source: James Dyson | The Atlantic