This week, we celebrate engineers and the difference they make in the world. Columbia proudly employs a team of incredible minds who serve our company in the engineering department.
This year's Engineering Week theme is, “ Creating the Future,” so we opened a dialog between a few members of our engineering team and Columbia kids (team members' children) to encourage young minds to ask questions and explore what the future of engineering may hold for them.
Check out this super cool STEM activity on ScienceBuddies.org and engineer a vehicle with the young minds in your life. Let's create future innovators and encourage these young minds to keep learning and growing!
Questions from Columbia Kids
Grayson (age 8)
What does an engineer at Columbia do?
“Mostly solve problems for people. They come to us with a problem, we imagine what it will take to solve it, then turn what we imagine into something real they can use.”
“I work with drawings and making sure we can make the vehicles.”
What is your favorite part of being an engineer?
“The imagining part.”
“Seeing our designs come to life.”
How much school did it take?
“I got here more through experience than school. It took lots of times being wrong until I learned how to be correct most of the time. You have to be willing to be wrong and then fixing what you did wrong.”
Cora (age 4) -
What part do you like to build the most?
“The electric stuff. Connecting all the wires together and making stuff work.”
“All of it.”
Jonah (age 11):
Is it fun?
“When what we create works, yes. When it doesn’t, not so much.”
“I really enjoy it.”
Lukas (age 7):
What are you making?
“I make the systems that make our electric cars move and all the lights turn on. It’s a lot of wires.”
“Making vehicles that help people at other jobs.”
Brayden (age 10):
What inspired you to become an Engineer?
“ I like making new things, and I’m good at solving problems.”
“I always liked cars and was interested in how they worked.”
How hard is it to design stuff?
“It’s not that hard to design, what can be hard is figuring out how people will use it, and that it will work no matter how they do.”
“Very hard, takes a lot of time.”
What is your favorite thing to build?
“I have really enjoyed making our newest vehicle.” (Coming soon!)
What keeps you motivated?
“Knowing that most days are going to bring something new to work on.”
“The enjoyment in the work that I do and enjoying working with my coworkers.”
What is your routine like at work?
“I don’t really have one. Every day is always a bit different than the last.”
“Look over emails, look over designs, make sure things are getting made properly, and work with customer issues. Start all over the next day but with different designs and issues.”
Evelyn (age 7):
How do you know how to build stuff?
“I started taking stuff apart when I was a kid to see how it worked, and eventually my Dad told me I had to start putting it back together. “
“Lots of school.”
How do you build a car?
“Takes a lot of parts. We assemble all the little parts into bigger things, and then assemble those bigger things together to make a car.”
“By lots of testing and hardwork.”
What would you love to engineer in your house?
“A free source of electricity.”
“I would like to create my entire house from scratch.”
What would you love to build for someone else?
“I would love to be able to make anything anybody wanted. If they told me what they wanted and a few days later I could give it to them that would be cool.”
“I would like to build something that helps people with their everyday lives or something that helps the planet stay healthy.”
Alec (age 12) -
How long does it take to design a vehicle?
“To do it properly, a year. Designing, building, and then fully testing it takes a long time.”
“Depends really, usually a longtime. For example our newest vehicle has taken almost a year already and we still aren't done.”
Do you use 3D printers? Are they fun?
“ We do, and they can be fun. But they’re fussy and sometimes don’t work the way you want them to. “
“We do, and I think they are super cool and a very helpful tool.”
Kenzie (age 9) -
What are the most challenging things you have had to do?
“Figuring out where all the electricity needs to go so things work properly and don’t start on fire. “
“Staying organized and making sure things get done on time.”