I think my son will someday become an engineer. My suspicions began when he was two years old and laid on the floor of the kitchen opening and closing the drawers to figure out how they worked. My prediction seems to reaffirm itself each and every day. He has created simple computer games using Scratch - a free tool to teach kids computer programming skills. After I introduced him to Google Sketch-up - a simplified 3-D modeling tool, he created Jeenland, a village with several houses and structures. In fact, he got out of bed 3 hours early to work on his project. When I got up he had an entire village with restaurants, houses, gardens and fences. Somehow he discovered the standards library and even added bathtubs, tables, chairs, people and other furniture to his rooms.
Just yesterday he announced he wanted to be a systems engineer. He entered the kitchen and told me all about Apple's products which is exactly what a systems engineer does. I explained to him that a systems engineer selects computers and technical equipment for complicated systems such as military navigational tools. He knew what had been released, what would be in the near future, what the computers could do, how much memory they could hold and how much they cost. He even knew who Steve Jobs was.
One book I have been reading to encourage him is The Story of Inventions. The book tells the story of several inventors and their inventions which changed the world. When we read about Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin we watched these two videos to help us understand how a cotton gin works.
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