Educating the Engineers of Tomorrow
As an Electrical Engineer with over 20 years of industry experience and 9 US and foreign patents, I enjoy one of the most wonderful and rewarding careers imaginable. And now I want to share that same magical experience with young up-and-coming students who, like me, were born to be engineers and crave exciting hands-on projects.
In a nutshell, Techsplorers is about helping kids today have the same life-changing tinkering project experiences that I had when I was young. This seems so simple but it leads to profound changes in motivation, a recognition of the value of learning, and even changes how knowledge is stored in the brain. If you facilitate the natural engineering urge by engaging them with hands-on experimentation, they'll discover that they don't need to wait until college to start learning and having fun with engineering.
Practical experience like this also forces the brain to learn correctly by organizing information as a connected set of ideas and concepts, instead of a disjointed collage of memorized facts and buzz words. Too much traditional classroom learning without practical application and motivation yields the latter. Many of the engineering graduates that I interview in industry have left college with their minds a messy jumble of facts. These students will never design a thing. If only those same motivated students had received more hands-on "inventing" experiences at a young age, where in order to invent something new, their mind had to think conceptually and pull all the scientific facts together into a unified functional design.
Part of the problem today is that we don't let kids do anything. They never "get their hands dirty." Kids today don't even know that they can build cool electronics projects and repair lawn mower engines. Nobody shows them. Many dads don't work on cars anymore and we don't live on farms where kids used to work on equipment and help build all sorts of things. Times have changed.
A big part of Techsplorers is simply introducing the kids to this stuff and showing them that they can – they do the rest! Motivation is automatic and powerful when the subject matter is cool and interesting. Believe me, you won't need to encourage them. Come watch a classroom full of kids, newly empowered with knowledge of how to use ratchets and wrenches, eyeing some lawn mower engines that they are allowed to start taking apart. They love it! And when they build a cool electronics circuit by themselves and get it working for the first time, the expression on their faces is priceless. Soon they realize the way it works isn't so complicated after all.
At Techsplorers, we make a concerted effort to change how the student perceives learning. Our goal is to make them want to learn.
If you have any questions about our programs, please feel free to give me a call or send me a quick email. We always love hearing from parents and value your feedback greatly.
See you in class!
— Rodger Dalton, Techsplorers Founder and Chief Exploration Officer