A second-tier mason takes first place in the state competition

From the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers

MASON, OH-. Ankit Ray, a second grader from Mason Early Childhood Center, placed first in the 2024 Imagine Engineering Coloring Contest out of 8,588 students statewide. Ankit receives the first prize, a telescope, for his detailed and colorful drawing showing an engineer planning, designing and testing drones to sow forests.

Ankit’s mother, Ratna Ghosh, said, “He is very curious about remote control toys and devices in general. He likes to help his father with gardening and lawn work. One day he was flying his remote control drone while his father was digging the ground. He quickly asked: ‘Why can’t I use my drone to sow the lawn? That would be fun and work at the same time!’ We were surprised by his reflection on relating engineering to real-time work. And then he had the engineering sessions in Ohio in his STEM class, which motivated him to rethink how the drones are made and tested.

The Engineers Foundation of Ohio (EFO) established the Imagine Engineering program and coloring contest in 1999. Since that time, EFO’s partner, the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE-Ohio), has engaged its chapter members statewide to visit local classrooms and explain to second graders what engineers do for a living.

In 2021, EFO updated the Imagine Engineering program by adding a new educational video – also titled “Imagine Engineering” – that EFO developed, recorded and distributed. EFO’s all-original video features real Ohio professional engineers – all members of NSPE-Ohio – recorded explaining engineering at a fundamental level and demonstrating engineering experiments that support the second-grade curriculum.

In 2023, EFO received a grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s P&G Fund to expand Imagine Engineering with Ohio’s Spanish-speaking second graders, and EFO produced the Spanish translation of the original “Imagine Engineering” video. The Spanish translation includes a Spanish-speaking engineer narrating the lesson and subtitles for the engineering experiments.

NSPE-Ohio members continue to support the program by visiting second-grade classrooms to engage students in dynamic conversations about engineering and answer their questions.

“Imagine Engineering is a children’s program unique to Ohio, founded by the Engineers Foundation of Ohio in the late 1990s,” said EFO President Tina Sutermeister, PE, MBA, FNSPE. “Since its first year 25 years ago, Imagine Engineering has helped spark the imaginations of tens of thousands of children across the state, encouraging them to focus on math and science – and perhaps a career in engineering.”

Each year, thousands of Ohio second graders learn what engineers do when NSPE-Ohio members offer the popular Imagine Engineering program to local elementary school students across the state.

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