I was Interviewed About Encouraging Kids to Pursue Engineering

Posted on November 21, 2011  Comments (4)

Amanda Moreno interviewed me about Encouraging Kids to Pursue Engineering over on the Knovel Blog.

What can parents do to cultivate an interest in science in their kids early on?

John Hunter: Ask questions. Answer questions. Explain how things work. Explain why things are done the way they are. Kids want the attention of their parents, and when they are younger they are constantly trying to get it (dad look, mom look, watch me!). They have similar feelings when they are older, but are not as forthright about saying what they want. If you take a sincere interest in their questions, you’ll motivate them to continue pondering how the world works. Make it fun to learn. Kids have an intrinsic motivation to learn. Keeping their curiosity alive is the first step.

So, on the university level, professors generally aren’t student-centric enough. What other factors are discouraging students in the classroom?

JH: I have one belief that is close to heresy. I don’t see why publication has to be so important for professors (if what we are after is good teachers, not authors). …

Read the rest of the interview.

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4 Responses to “I was Interviewed About Encouraging Kids to Pursue Engineering”

  1. Amanda Moreno
    November 21st, 2011 @ 4:58 pm


  2. Benjamin Clingan
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    I agree completely with what you’re saying here. I saw this myself, so I wrote a book to provide a piece of literature that could help the young scientist along his or her academic career.

    I want to catch the young scientist before he or she receives the formal science education. I want to get them when science is still a vibrant, exciting mystery and hasn’t been defined as a set of facts and equations.

    In “The Great Geese Migration” I give a specific example of how the evolutionary process works and why there is a need for adaptation.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Yash Vardhan
    November 24th, 2011 @ 5:55 am

    Its over the children .. and somewhat on parents if there upbringing is write they can do it.. i mean engineering or any other stuff! 🙂

  4. Lorraine Shumake
    November 28th, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    I too believe that everyone actually has that intrinsic motivation to learn. My husband and I are both over 50. We both have that strong desire to learn even at this age. Perhaps that is why we are involved in the leading edge of fabric buildings technology. I continue my search for knowledge by keeping up on the latest computer website technology as well. What would we ever do without that spark of interest that develops into new ideas, new products, new and better living? Keep on encouraging everyone, not just children in engineering and the sciences. Kudos to your work.

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