Engineers of the Future

You hear about how most American children fail to measure up to students in other countries when it comes to math and science. One technology expert hopes to dispel myths about the engineering field and attract more young people to the profession. Pat Hernandez has more.

It's becoming more apparent that engineers will play a vital role in making the world more environmentally sustainable. The task that lies ahead is convincing students here and across the country that more opportunities are being made available. Norm Gilsdorf from Honeywell was on hand at the Cheminnovations Conference and Expo now underway at Reliant Center to announce a scholarship to help re-energize HISD students about pursuing a career in engineering.

"We believe fundamentally that the only way you get good technology is through invention, innovation, with engineers and scientists. We need to get that message out, so that people begin to see that this is an interesting dynamic career. I like to say the only way we're gonna get green, the only way we're gonna make our overall economy stronger is with good engineers."

Laura Couvillion is director of the conference that's attracted over a hundred companies from around the world. She says attendees realize the importance of making the industry more appealing to the next generation.

"The emphasis is on the chemical processing industries across the board. And so, we have the exhibit component, where we have companies showcasing their new technologies. We also have the conference component, which is advanced learning for chemical engineers, automation engineers, anyone that fits in this industry that needs advanced education."

teacher Jennifer Daytree talking to students
Teacher Jennifer Daytree of Booker T. Washington High School's magnet program, The High School for the Engineering Professions talking to students conducting an experiment.

Also attending the conference, students from Booker T. Washington High School's engineering magnet school, the High School for the Engineering Professions. They got to take part in some experiments and demonstrations. Jennifer Daytree was in the industry before she became a teacher.

"This is about us teaching them, educators, business people, the sponsors, everybody. It's about us teaching them and grooming them, because we all want the best to come out next and Honeywell wants to hire the best. So, what are they gonna do? They're gonna throw out the education, and they're gonna throw out the sponsorship for motivating these kids to get into the industry, so that we get to groom that crop of the next generation."

After talking to some of the students at Booker T Washington, Houston has a lot to contribute to the industry.

Male student: "Being able to make connections that we'll be able to use through college and after college."

Female student: "Ten years from now when I finish college, there might be a whole other way to redo things, or reinvent something that's going on today."

Male student: " The engineering field is a big field. There's chemical, mechanical, electrical, computer science. I've got options."

Honeywell's scholarship is open to all high school seniors in the HISD. You can find more information about the Honeywell Engineer of the Future Scholarship at
www.facebook.com/HoneywellStudentEngineers.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...