The ’60s Are Over, Man

Newsflash: The Beatles have broken up! Yes, it's true. The '60s are over. Lady Bird Johnson is no longer first lady. Free love isn't groovy any more. And the heyday of engineering in the United States has come and gone. And while Lyndon Johnson won't be running for president again and making love can be almost as deadly as making war, an engineering renaissance is taking place. Programs across the globe are cultivating and encouraging future engineers. The FIRST Lego League is in the midst of its Power Puzzle Challenge, which will culminate, along with the Robotics Competition and Tech Challenge, in April at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. This year's Power Puzzle calls for teams of 9-to-14-year-old children to research and present creative solutions to an energy management and sustainability challenge. Meanwhile, the Junior Engineering Technical Society's National Engineering Design Challenge is about to move on to Round II, in which teams of individuals in grades 9-12 will build a prototype of the assistive-technology device they researched and designed in the competition's first round. What else is going on out there to build the next generations of engineers? Are you involved as a mentor or coach? Is your company donating equipment or involved as a sponsor? Does your children's school system have special programs in place? Let's hear about it.