Kids Explain: What Engineers REALLY Do

By Engine Room Posted 4mth(s) ago Reading Time: A few minutes


One of our favourite things to do at Engine Room is getting engineers to explain life to us. From why engineers make the best romantic partners to whether or not the iconic tech in Star Wars actually works IRL, it’s always fun and insightful to rediscover the world through those wise and knowing eyes. 

In honour of Children’s Day, we decided to put a little spin on our beloved Engineers Explain series and spoke to four young friends to find out what they think engineers really do. 

“Engineers make rocket ships”

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HANNAH, 8 YEARS OLD 

Engineering experience: “I once built a rocket ship out of Lego.”

What she thinks of engineers: “Engineers are mechanics - they take things like cars and spaceships apart, and then examine them one by one. Usually they can fix them!”

Our take? Considering the work of NASA engineers, which include designing powerful rockets for deep space exploration and building instruments to sniff out water on Mars, we say Hannah is pretty much spot-on. 

“Engineers drive trains”

ANDREW, 5 YEARS OLD

Engineering experience: “I don’t mind becoming an engineer when I grow up!”

What he thinks of engineers: “When I’m an engineer, I can drive a train fast and help my friends get to wherever they need to be very quickly.”

We shared with Andrew that before the train gets to move, a school of brilliant engineers from a host of disciplines, including electrical, mechanical and industrial, actually come together to deal with the design, construction and operation of said train to bring it to life. 

Nodding in deep understanding, Andrew shared a slight concern, and that is that trains today have to stop at every. single. station. He’s still making up his mind on whether that would slow him down too much, but who knows, we just might be talking to the future mastermind of super trains! 

“Engineers build things”

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CONNOR, 5 YEARS OLD 

Engineering experience: “Watching mama’s friend make small earrings and pretty necklaces.”

What he thinks of engineers: “Engineers are cool and smart because they do complicated things.”

Thank you, Connor, for pointing out how engineers don’t just build big things but also small things that sometimes can’t quite be seen by the naked eye, like the chips in our phones and computers. Well done, our young padawan.  

“Engineers are scientists”

EVANNA, 4 YEARS OLD

Engineering experience: “Frozen is the best movie in the whole universe.”

What she thinks of engineers: “Engineers fix things. They also record down how they have fixed things with a pen and paper so other people know.”

We couldn’t agree with you more, Evanna – Frozen is a great movie indeed. And you know, there actually is an overlap between engineers and scientists because both professions need a strong knowledge of science, math and technology. And yes, we engineer we’re known to be meticulous people and are great note-takers!

They say kids say the darndest things, and these are pretty darn cute to us. It also doesn’t hurt to know they do think rather well of us engineers (yes, you can start breathing again).

With their curious minds and creative spirits, we sure can’t wait to see what the future of engineering holds. And on that note, here’s wishing all the little ones of today - our giant movers and makers of tomorrow - a very happy children’s day! 

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