I’m gonna guess that you’re probably watching me on a computer. Or maybe a phone, a tablet, or a TV? Well, do you know who made all of those things possible? An engineer! We’ve talked about a lot of different jobs that scientists can do, but engineers are the ones who dream up a lot of the things that you use every day, from toys to tools!
An engineer is someone who studies how and why things work. You could say they’re really curious people! And they’re always learning about how things work because they design and build things themselves — things that help solve problems. There are lots of different kinds of engineers that you can be, but they all have the same basic job: inventing and building things that solve problems for people. And all engineers ask themselves three very important questions when they’re working.
Number 1: What is the problem that needs to be solved? Number 2: Who has the problem that needs to be solved? and Number 3: Why is this problem important to solve? Want to see how engineers make life easier for all of us? Let’s take a look at an example of something that was engineered to solve a big problem.
Almost a hundred years ago, the city of San Francisco, California, had a problem. The people who lived there, and others who lived nearby, couldn’t travel in or out of the city, without a boat. The city was getting bigger and bigger, so more and more people needed to be able to get to and from San Francisco in a way that was quick, easy, and safe. So engineers came up with a big, bold solution, and it’s one you might have heard of before: The Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge solved that problem by connecting the city of San Francisco with other towns on the mainland.
And we’ve studied that bridge here on SciShow Kids, because it’s a great example of how bridges can be so big and still be strong enough to carry thousands of cars, trucks, and people! Now, the Golden Gate Bridge was the work of a special kind of engineers, called civil engineers — they design big things that are used by lots of people, like buildings, roads, and …
But there are lots of other kinds of engineers, too. Mechanical engineers make things like tools, engines, and machines — machines like bikes and cars! If your problem is not being able to get from one place to another quickly, bikes and cars are solutions to that problem. Then there are electrical engineers. They study electricity and design things that use it, like, say, the microwave in your kitchen.
If your problem is cold food, then microwaves can solve that problem, too! But don’t forget about computers! Software engineers are people who work on computers to make them faster and able to do more things.
And computers solve all kinds of problems, like connecting people in faraway places by email, and video, and providing information on certain topics, like engineering, to people like you who want to learn more about them. And if you’re interested in exploring space, then you’re definitely going to want to know all about aerospace engineers!
They’re the people who design and build airplanes and spaceships. If your problem is that you’re stuck on Earth, well, they can help you with that! Over a hundred years ago, we didn’t have aerospace engineers, because we didn’t have any airplanes! Or spaceships! But today, we do, thanks to the people who engineered them.
Who knows what things we’ll need engineering in another hundred years? What kind of engineers do you imagine in the future? Let us know by getting a grown-up to help you leave a comment or email us at email@example.com Thanks for learning about engineers with us! And we’ll see you next time!