Last night I hosted the Big Beacon twitter chat, Joy in Engineering.
After introductions to welcome participants from the engineering community (including professional engineers, engineering students and engineering educators) in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, the topic was served up:
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or parts of engineering bring you the most joy? When did you discover what they were?
Although we wondered whether the unlikely topic would yield much conversation, (are engineers and engineering education supposed to be joyful? are we even allowed?) it did not take long for our assembled chat group to reveal the sources of their engineering joy, and they were many!
Joy as being part of history
Joy in triumphing over complexity to make something work
Joy in seeing theory applied to real-life experience
Joy in learning together (not from lectures)
Joy in nostalgia (seeing how far technology has come in our lifetimes)
Joy in helping students get something for the first time (that gleam in their eye)
Joy in unlimited possibility (in the number of options that engineering opens up)
Joy from innovating and meeting needs
Joy from coding
Joy from finding and fixing root causes
Joy in helping others solve their own problems
Joy in creativity, innovation and internationality
Joy of machines and the majesty of technology
Joy in creating something that didn’t exist before
Joy in working on products that save lives
Joy via overcoming hardship or joy in doing hard stuff with simple parts
We also uncovered some interesting topics for future chats: the Marshmallow Challenge, rigor in engineering education as an obstacle to joy, Olin College as a Beacon for the future of engineering education and rites of passage in engineering. To read the entire twitter chat on storify, click here.
Thank you to everyone who came and participated. We love having you as part of the chat and looking forward to more twitter chats! We meet every Wednesday at 8 pm EDT/EST.
It’s not too late to add your voice to the conversation! Leave a comment on this post or tweet at us on #BigBeacon. What parts of engineering (or engineering education) bring you most joy?
Next week’s topic is Entrepreneurship and Education with guest host from Epicenter USA, the national center for engineering pathways to innovation. Join us Wed May 8th at 8 pm EST on twitter, hashtag #BigBeacon.