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Engineers explain their work to youth this week across Canada

Ottawa, ON -- Mar. 3, 2003 -- Young people across Canada will have an opportunity to explore the future this week,...


Ottawa, ON — Mar. 3, 2003 — Young people across Canada will have an opportunity to explore the future this week, courtesy of the country’s 160,000 professional engineers.

From March 1-9, during National Engineering Week (NEW) 2003, engineers from coast to coast are volunteering their time to demonstrate the power of engineering to young Canadians. They’ll be explaining what engineers do in their day-to-day work and how it benefits the lives of others, as well as describing the exciting career opportunities that exist in engineering.

“NEW is really a celebration of engineering,” said Marie Lemay, P.Eng., CEO of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE). “It’s the week when we strive to show young Canadians the potential of engineering to make a difference in the lives of people, why engineers love what they do, and why engineering offers so many wonderful and diverse career choices. Today’s engineers work in more than 17 distinct fields of engineering. Their work affects so many facets of everyday life — from drinking water to computers, and from food processing to traffic safety systems.”

Now in its 12th year, NEW is an annual grass-roots event that sees engineers and the profession organize a host of engineering-related events in Canadian schools and communities, from classroom visits by engineers, to mall displays and contests.

Popular popsicle stick, drinking straw and pasta bridge-building competitions are planned in communities from Whitehorse, Yukon, to St. John’s, Nfld., while a group of Toronto students will learn about Engineering for Mountaineers — the engineering behind the pulley system used to rescue climbers from mountain crevasses.

In Winnipeg local celebrities will compete in a NEW version of Junkyard Wars, building cars from trash and raising money for local charities. And engineers in Halifax have organized a “Gear Heads” one-tenth marathon.

Companies, universities and individual engineers will also be taking part in NEW, starting with the women engineers of IBM, who will be going into classrooms across the country to speak to students, especially girls, about engineering and encouraging them to take upper level math and science courses.

Young Canadians who prefer to stay home or visit their local library can access a mix of information, science and engineering experiments, games, activities and links throughout the year on the NEW Web site, www.new-sng.com. The site highlights the theme for NEW 2003: “Engineering — Visions of Things to Come.” Maintained by CCPE, it also contains information on all the NEW activities planned across Canada.

CCPE is the national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations/ordre that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country’s more than 160,000 engineers. The associations organize and run the vast majority of NEW events and activities that take place each year, with the support of their staff and a network of dedicated volunteers.