Meeting an engineer can change your life. Just ask Martha Garcia-Wegener. When Martha was six years old, her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico. Eventually her family moved to Iowa, where they opened a restaurant. One day, while working as a waitress at the restaurant, she waited on a man who was an electrical engineer. He asked her what she wanted to do after high school and Martha told him she didn’t know, but that she really liked math and doing hands-on work. He told her about his job as an electrical engineer and explained the differences between all the other engineering disciplines. This conversation sparked her interest in engineering. Martha eventually pursued an engineering degree, and today, is a systems engineer working at Rockwell Collins. Now Martha and hundreds of other Rockwell Collins employees across the globe participate in Engineers Week (EWeek) activities throughout the month of February as a way to share their passion and inspire boys and girls to pursue technical careers at Rockwell Collins and other high tech companies. “Our hope is that our EWeek activities will inspire the engineers and innovators of tomorrow,” said Nan Mattai, senior vice president of Engineering & Technology at Rockwell Collins. “Our investment of time and resources is a commitment to the workforce of tomorrow, for Rockwell Collins, certainly, but also for the economic viability of the communities and countries where we operate.” Started in Rockwell Collins’ headquarters community of Cedar Rapids in 1991, the company’s EWeek activities have expanded to its locations across the U.S., Brazil and India as a way to involve even more employees and to address the growing need to develop a global workforce of engineers, scientists and innovators. In 2013, it’s estimated that nearly 5,000 students will participate in hands-on engineering activities facilitated by Rockwell Collins.
EWeek is part of Rockwell Collins’ Engineering Experiences educational outreach program.Click here to access a full list of activities, by date and location. It all starts on Saturday, Feb. 16, with Rockwell Collins sponsoring a free admission day at the Iowa Children’s Museum ( www.theicm.org) in Coralville. Children and adults alike can interact with engineers while taking part in hands-on, aviation-related activities, and local FIRST ® LEGO ® League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams will provide demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The kid-friendly activities complement the museum’s "Take Flight! The Science of Aviation" exhibit that features state-of-the-art flight simulators built into child-sized airplanes, an air traffic control tower, hot air balloon, pedal planes, Pig Parachutes and more. “The hands-on experiences of this event introduce children to concepts that are directly related to aviation, technology and business,” added Mattai. “Our hope is that these activities will spark their interest in learning more about engineering.” Other events that will be hosted or supported by Rockwell Collins this year include:
- Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – The Iowa Engineering Society (IES) Career Guidance Event at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center. The event will feature an opportunity to interact with Rockwell Collins engineers at its Roadshow demonstration, as well as breakout sessions including Rockwell Collins human resources and engineering representatives, display booths and networking opportunities for high school students.
- Feb. 19 – “Introduce a Girl to Engineering.” Rockwell Collins will host 100 8th-grade girls from area middle schools. Rockwell Collins volunteers will give tours, presentations and equipment demonstrations to show the girls engineering career possibilities. Since 2002, more the 1,000 girls have participated in the program.
About Rockwell CollinsRockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, information management, and simulation and training is delivered by 19,000 employees, and a global service and support network that crosses 27 countries. To find out more, please visit www.rockwellcollins.com.