Engineering a Future Career

Connie Annetta

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students explore the different branches of engineering and discover the similarities and differences between them.

Summary

  • Students will research and describe career choices and trends in Engineering
  • Students will research and report on postsecondary educational programs leading to careers in Engineering
  • Students will describe the essential skills and work habits that are important for success in Engineering
Specific Expectations for Ontario

Introduction to Computer Science (ICS3U):
- research and describe career choices and trends in Engineering
- research and report on postsecondary educational programs leading to careers in Engineering
- describe the essential skills and work habits that are important for success in Engineering.

Setting the Stage

The field of Engineering is extremely diverse and offers many exciting career opportunities. From mechanical, aerospace and automotive to civil, computer and robotic engineering, there are many potential career pathways.

The following lesson will help students make discerning decisions about pursuing a career and postsecondary education in Engineering. Students will explore different engineering branches and discover the similarities and differences between them. Students will select a few Engineering careers based on their interests and view the selections of other students in a classroom sharing activity. Note that the specific terminology referring to Engineering “branches” may differ between different postsecondary Institutions.

Materials & Preparation

  • Computer or tablet with internet access (1 per student)
  • Engineering Branches Mind Map Reproducible (1 per student or pair of students) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Engineering Branches Venn Diagram Reproducible (1 per student or pair of students) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Engineering Choice Flashcard Reproducible(1 per student or pair of students) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Engineering Matching Game Questions and Answers (for teacher) [Google doc] [PDF]

What To Do

Part 1 - Exploring Engineering Branches & Subcategories 

  • Teachers could start this lesson with a Think-Pair-Share activity to activate students’ prior knowledge. Students could be asked what they think of when they hear the words “engineer” and “engineering.” When directed, they could share their thoughts with a partner. Teachers could ask students to share their or their partner’s thoughts. 
  • Individually or in pairs, students will fill out the Engineering Branches Mind Map. Using the internet, students will look for Engineering subcategories within each Engineering branch and document them in the appropriate space. Students will compare answers with a peer or one group with another (students can add additional/missed subcategories from sharing).
    • Sample answers:
      • Mechanical Engineering: Mechanical, Aerospace, Biomedical, Biomechanical, Automotive
      • Chemical Engineering: Chemical, Environmental, Materials, Agricultural, Paper, Sustainability
      • Civil Engineering: Civil, Structural, Architectural
      • Electrical Engineering: Electrical, Computer, Electronics, Mechatronics, Robotics, Microelectronic
      • Management Engineering: Engineering Management, MBA in Engineering, Industrial, Systems, Manufacturing
      • Geotechnical Engineering: Geotechnical, Petroleum, Geological, Nuclear, Marine, Engineering Physics, Photonics, Nanotechnology, Mining, Ceramics, Metallurgical, Geomatics, Project Management

Part 2 - Exploring Engineering Branches: Similarities & Differences

  • Students will research the necessary skills and practices for each Engineering Branch.
  • Students will fill out the Engineering Branches Venn Diagram reproducible. Students will determine the similarities and differences between branches and write the differences within areas that don’t overlap and similarities within areas that do overlap. For example, coding may be a similar activity or skill desired across several branches.
  • Students will compare answers with a peer or within a larger group.
Engineering Venn Diagram
Engineering branches Venn diagram (©2020 Let’s Talk Science).

Part 3 - Choose an Engineering Career: Think-Write-Pair-Share

  • Each student should select one of the six branches of engineering in which they could see themselves working. Each student should make a list of the strengths they would bring to this branch as a worker. With a partner, each student will discuss their strengths. The partner can add strengths that they feel were omitted.
  • Teachers could provide each student with an Engineering Choice Flashcard reproducible Students are to write down the Engineering Branch that their Engineering Career falls under. Students will write the Engineering Career they have chosen under “Sub-branch”. In the area of the card that states “I chose this Engineering Career because I like to…. students should add one key skill, activity, or practice they have that relates to this career.

Part 4 - Engineering Careers Mingle

  • Teachers could direct students to find peers that have chosen the same branch of engineering. Students will organize into groups of Engineering Branches. With members of their group, students will discuss and share what they feel are key essential skills, activities, and practices for their chosen career. 
  • After they have concluded their group discussion, students should reflect on the following questions:
  • Would you change your Engineering career based on what you learned from your group sharing activity?
  • What other skills, practices, and activities do you think are relevant to your Engineering Career that you didn’t think of before?

Part 5 - Engineering Kahoot Game 

  • Organize students into groups to compete in the Engineering Matching Game using Kahoot
  • Game questions and answers are also available to teachers in the downloads section.
  • Let’s Talk Science appreciates the work and contributions of Connie Annetta from the Toronto Catholic District School Board in the development of this lesson.

Details

Assessment

  • Teachers circulate class throughout the lesson to provide verbal feedback.
  • Teachers may want to collect BLM’s and flashcards for further feedback. 
     

Assessment

  • Teachers circulate class throughout the lesson to provide verbal feedback.
  • Teachers may want to collect BLM’s and flashcards for further feedback. 
     

Downloads

  • Engineering Branches Mind Map Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]
  • Engineering Branches Venn Diagram Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]
  • Engineering Choice Flashcard Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]
  • Engineering Matching Game Questions and Answers (for teacher) [Google doc] [PDF]

Downloads

  • Engineering Branches Mind Map Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]
  • Engineering Branches Venn Diagram Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]
  • Engineering Choice Flashcard Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]
  • Engineering Matching Game Questions and Answers (for teacher) [Google doc] [PDF]