Engineers building up the field's future - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Engineers building up the field's future

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PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

Ask the average junior high school student what he thinks about math or science, and the response will probably be similar to Magnolia Junior High School student Dallas Murray.

"Not some of my best things," laughed Murray.

Engineers at Ingalls Shipbuilding are hoping the change that. The Shipbuilder Women Engineers group invited kids from area school to Ingalls for a competition. With a little guidance from the experts, students competed to build foam roller coasters, and something to move a marble without touching it. The students also constructed tin-can structures at the schools.

Teachers say hands on events like this, are the best way to get kids interested in science and technology.

"Stop thinking within the box and start thinking outside the box. That's what my goal is every day in the classroom; to get the kids to achieve something they wouldn't normally do on a daily basis," said science teacher Nikeland Cooper.

The competition is an annual event at Ingalls to celebrate National Engineering Week.

"It's just to bring awareness to encourage the students to pursue perhaps engineering as a career, and to show them that we do have a lot of fun and we're not just a bunch of nerds," said Ingalls electrical engineer Amanda McKee.

The pros also spoke to the kids about how engineering touches every part of life.

"It makes you think about what you should learn, and what they're teaching you now and what you could be doing later on with the knowledge that they're teaching you," said Murray.

"If you look now, compared to 30 years ago, things are leaning from manufacturing to technology; and science and math is the way for our kids to be successful," said Cooper.  

With lessons like these, the Ingalls group hopes a new generation of engineers are in the works.  

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