National Engineering Month 2018 becomes largest campaign to date

This past March marked another exhilarating month of engineering celebrations for National Engineering Month (NEM), which kicked off in Sudbury this year with the Purple Power event lighting up the Big Nickel and the Nothin’ but NEM Raptors event. With over 500 events planned across the province, #NEM2018 was the largest campaign to date.

The theme, “There’s a place for you,” gave engineers an opportunity to open up their world and share stories with youth and members of the public with a message that engineering and engineering technology is a place for all kinds of thinkers interested in making a difference in the world. The campaign has continued to grow since its inception thanks to the great work of its organizers, volunteers, sponsors and partners.

The partnership of the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, Engineers Without Borders Canada and PEO works to highlight engineering and engineering technology in schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, malls and public spaces across Ontario. This year, passionate volunteers contributed their time and expertise to conduct some of the most innovative and engaging events to date. Generous sponsors also contributed financial support to make the NEM 2018 campaign possible and participated in the festivities by contributing their branded merchandise and content for the NEM blog.

Twenty-eight PEO chapters ran over 70 events across the province, continuing the association’s outstanding participation in the annual campaign. Many popsicle-stick bridges were designed, built and busted this year in chapter events in Algonquin, Brampton, Kingston, Niagara, North Bay, Mississauga, Sudbury, Quinte, Scarborough and the Thousand Islands. PEO’s London Chapter supported the 20th annual “GetSet” event exploring engineering and technology with interactive hands-on activities, and the 11th annual Engineering Idol competition hosted by PEO’s Etobicoke Chapter was one of the many design competitions that happened throughout the month. Other innovative events included the Engineering Book Explorers with the Hamilton-Burlington Chapter and Engineering in Hockey with the Kingsway Chapter.

NEM was trending in numerous media newsrooms throughout the month of March. Dozens of articles appeared in local newspapers and on websites, as well as interviews featuring volunteer engineers on local TV and radio. On social media, #NEM2018 was popular across the country, with photos, videos and stories being shared throughout the network. This year, the NEM hashtag was picked up by many engineering and technology companies wanting to join the campaign. NEM was promoted on 680 NEWS AM radio, screens along The Path in downtown Toronto and in online advertising across the province. Daily blog posts featuring engineering and technology innovations, spotlights and more helped to connect the world of engineering with the general public in a unique way. Look for campaign highlights on TwitterInstagram and Facebook @NEMOntario.

Even with NEM 2018 fresh in our memories, preparation for NEM 2019 is already underway. Chapters are reminded to include a submission in your June business plan for next year’s NEM events. Applications for next March’s events are due to the National Engineering Month Ontario Steering Committee in November 2018. Contact with comments or questions.

Rebecca White is operations manager of Engineers of Tomorrow at Engineers Without Borders Canada.