• Henry Geller

Opinion: Friends School Should Teach Engineering

Take a moment to think about the future of our world. Did you think about flying cars, high-speed internet, or a cleaner environment? These are all common ideas of what the future may hold, and all of them require engineers.

Engineers are the people who will build the future of our country and our world by inventing and innovating technology to improve the quality of life. If it seems important, that’s because it is.

As a student who is interested in engineering, I think that our school needs to teach it in order to expose students to a growing career path. Engineering is not available to a high level as it should be at Friends.

I know that after Friends, I want to study engineering in college. The problem with this is that engineering is a broad subject, and many major universities in the United States require students to know which specific area they want to study. An engineering class at Friends would expose students to many sections of engineering, and it could change student’s perspectives on this field.

Currently, the programs that Friends offers are not 100% ideal for me.

I have a brother in 8th grade at Friends, and through him I have heard that some of his peers are interested in transferring to Poly, or other schools, to center their education around engineering.

In addition to Middle School students, Upper school students believe that engineering classes are a must.

“Having an engineering course at Friends would be amazing because we have nothing that resembles [engineering] in our curriculum,” said Junior Joseph Badros. He expressed to me that he is unsure of what his college major should be. He told me that “I don’t think Friends has enabled me to explore those options.”

An anonymous female junior at Friends also feels that Friends is not doing enough to expose students to a variety of engineering subjects. When I sat down with her, she told me:

“I’d like to take Biomedical Engineering classes in college, but I need an introduction to engineering … [Clubs like] robotics only exposes me to computer and mechanical engineering.”

Despite the fact that Friends school does not offer engineering classes, engineering still exists at Friends. Although he admits Friends School could always be doing more to introduce students to the engineering field, Computer Science teacher David Heath suggests Friends is doing its part by offering extracurriculars such as Robotics.

But the engineering that our school has might not be enough. Just look at our neighboring schools.

The “Tri-Schools” such as Gilman offer an engineering course as a Junior/Senior elective. RPCS offers a civil engineering course, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the fastest growing engineering field, as it is expected to gain almost 24,000 jobs in the next ten years.

Bryn Mawr school offers an Energy Engineering course aimed to teach about how energy and electricity are incorporated in engineering and technology. All of these classes are open to students from each of the schools, but Friends has nothing to compete with them.

Friends should keep in mind its former motto, “The World Needs What Our Children Can Do,” and provide engineering classes for its students. The world requires engineers who would be working to better the quality of life for all. In the future, engineers will work on projects that don’t exist yet, which is an exciting concept. Friends School has the opportunity to make a difference in their students’ futures, and that starts with teaching engineering.

© 2020 Friends School of Baltimore Quaker Quill