I hope this finds you all well and enjoying an unseasonably warm start to Spring. Mother Nature’s little blessing appears to have given many folks renewed energy to cut down their to-do lists (as indicated by my growing inbox of taskers).
This past March, the Chapter had the opportunity to recognize local high school science fair winners at a luncheon hosted at the River’s Edge. For those of you who in attendance, it goes without saying that we have extremely talented individuals in our school system. The creativity and ingenuity of the projects demonstrates the some of the best the next generation has to offer. Remarks made by RDML Steve Eastburg solidified the need for strong science, technology, engineering (STEM) and math skills in the workforce. Congratulations again to the winners! We expect great things from you in the years to come.
Much of our media attention also reinforces the need for renewed focus on STEM education. Whether it is coverage of the upcoming election or discussion on the continuing resolution, the underlying message is that the Nation needs problem solvers more than ever. The ability to analyze a situation, determine courses of action, and establish a feasible plan to affect course correction plagues leadership in all arenas. Our collective ability to think critically may be eroding with our over reliance on smart technologies and cloud computing. Growing up in a culture of “now”, how can we utilize our STEM programs to engage and inspire the next generation to be critical thinkers?
I believe the first steps at reinforcing the critical thinking foundation is through personal example. In our everyday roles and responsibilities, are we taking the time to think critically about our engineering efforts? Did we take the time to thoroughly plan our technical work? Is our technical work planned to an appropriate detail such that we can push back on our program managers and mathematically prove why “one more tasker” will draw unnecessary attention away from achieving our technical performance requirements? Do we clearly articulate the vision and requirements to our subordinates to ensure they can plan and execute work at their levels? For technical performance, do we think critically about the gap our system is filling? Do we take the time to understand our interfaces and the information that must pass between? Did my predecessor think critically about the system and lay the foundation for success or do I need to implement change to get the design back on track? I challenge each of you to think about those questions and reflect on your own personal example.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Our Chapter
wants to help you with the tools you need to implement that change. Whether it is
presentations on specific topics or showcasing engineering software and
technologies, we need your inputs to help continue your STEM education. Let us
help you refine the skill set you need to be effective Systems Engineers. We look
forward to hearing from you and assisting you in achieving your goals.
Have a fantastic month!