Author Topic: Age and Model Engineers  (Read 15953 times)

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 12:00:56 PM »
I agree with much of what Eric says at least as to my neck of the woods. I work, teach, and manage the machine shop lab for the Engineering Technology Dept. at a large urban university. More specifically I teach the machine shop lecture and co-teach the labs. The young people today are by far more interested in their smart phones, ipads, etc. As to machining they are taught solidworks and take to it like ducks on water, but that is as far as it goes often times. What we have lost is the ability to know that just because something can be drawn, that doesn't mean it can be machined easily or in a cost effective manner. They are so used to 3D printing, which we have several of, and now CNC, which we are just getting into...that they can't be bothered with the trials and tribulations of manual machining. I have some 18 or so engines of various types scattered around my office and in 6 years...I can count on one hand the number of students that have even expressed an interest in hobby machining. I can and do recommend to those how they might get into it for minimal cost and then grow into the hobby as time and finances permit, yet still the numbers are virtually nill. I think much of the problem is that we spoon feed these youngsters so much that the learning curve in this hobby is simply more than they now wish to take on. I don't mean all that to sound negative, its just what I observe on a daily basis with the student engineers of tomorrow.

Bill

Offline rebush

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 12:01:38 PM »
JO: I live in S.W. Florida, they've taken all the machines out of the schools here. It seems like the skilled trades are not as desireable of a future it once was. I think time and money to buy tools and the space to put them is an issue also. I've built cabinets and furniture for the last 37 years it getting harder to find young people who want to work in the shop. When I finish a model I take it to work to show the guys, their always amazed by the finished product and the skills it takes to build, but, not one person yet has shown any interest in learning to work on models. I'm sure the hobby will continue. Our tools are going to end up with a new owner when we're gone. Hope they turn out a few good model engines with them. Roger
Hopelessly lost but making darn good time.

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2013, 12:06:10 PM »
Hey DaveH,
Do you really feel that way?....like there is snobbery in the forum?....I ask that earnestly...and to be very clear...I am in no way upset by that comment...I want to understand it..
Warm regards,
Dave     (steamer  MEM)
Hi Dave
Of course there is snobbery in this forum, it's no different to any other forum or "walks of life" in that respect.
However categorizing the engine builds and relegating them to sub forums just seemed an odd thing to do (to me) when the tittle of this forum is Model Engine Maker. I couldn't care less how one builds it, or from what but some must otherwise they would not have been categorized in the way they are.

End  of that rant.
Now for the next one.

There is nothing wrong with the younger generation, they are not much different to how some of us older *arts were. If there were a simple answer to get more young people into our hobby - then it would have been done years ago. What the young people need from us is encouragement and understanding, and when we are criticized we need to take it and get better. Not come out fighting, moaning and winging and blame the younger generation.
We are an odd lot we need to realize we are the odd ones not the rest of society.

Yikes I'm having a good day to day  :cartwheel:
 :cheers:
DaveH
   


Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2013, 12:14:29 PM »

Yikes I'm having a good day to day 



Clearly!  ;D

Well...if you can point out the specifics...I'll work to make it better....and trust me....I'm trying to bring my kids along..

Dave
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline Jo

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2013, 12:15:15 PM »
We are an odd lot we need to realize we are the odd ones not the rest of society.

Yikes I'm having a good day to day  :cartwheel:
 :cheers:
DaveH
 

Dave, at least you are in the majority, there are more men in this hobby than women. In the wider engineering circles women are, in the main, accepted as equals amongst engineers but in my experience it very much less so in Model Engineering.

Edit: Actually thinking about professional engineers ;D, and retired ones, accept me as a woman model engineer better than non engineering types.

Jo
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 12:28:14 PM by Jo »
Usus est optimum magister

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2013, 12:24:00 PM »
I don't find the categorization of build methods to be an issue at all. Probably like a lot of us, I swing between moods and projects and methods from build to build. Sometimes its castings, sometimes bar stock. Sometimes its from my own plans, sometimes from those of others. I find the categorization helpful in that regard as far as focusing in on what may interest me most at the moment. But in no way does that mean I can't admire projects in other categories.

Bill

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 12:25:16 PM »
I remember talking about this some time ago. At the time I talked about the lack of opportunity.
It worries me that our schools keep dropping programs like woodshop, metalworking, drafting etc.
Sure, you can find them in community colleges or private schools that cater to that, but if, when you leave high school you'd never been exposed to it, you won't consider it.

I was lucky in that I spent some years as a kid in Europe. My parents took me to museums and in Europe you're going to see a lot of machines. And my parents gave me erector sets and chemistry sets.

But while I say 'lack of opportunity' there is also 'too much opportunity'. When I was growing up, there was no TV (or what there was was in a foreign language), no computers, no youtube, etc.

Today kids can spread their attention to a lot of different areas. Too many really. And because of the plethora of interesting things (and to some extent the way we raised them), fewer kids have the patience or the time to pursue such hobbies as this one.

But...having said that...it's amazing what you find on the internet. Kids making steam tanks, lego engines, steam driven spiders. They are out there.
Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
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Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2013, 12:34:33 PM »
Steamer  I'm not seeing it.

Jo, a person's best judge are their peers. If anyone who as ever built anything can look at your work and not offer respect (In my case awe) they need to have their micrometers welded shut.

ERic

Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2013, 12:43:52 PM »
Steamer  I'm not seeing it.

Jo, a person's best judge are their peers. If anyone who as ever built anything can look at your work and not offer respect (In my case awe) they need to have their micrometers welded shut.

ERic

 :lolb:

Absolutely agree!

"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline gbritnell

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2013, 01:23:47 PM »
Times have changed. As with any topic like this it's easy to stray from the subject so I'll try not to.
I'm fast approaching 68 years. I grew up in a time when there were 3 courses that were offered to the young men in high school under the heading of industrial arts. One was wood shop, the second was metal shop and the  third was mechanical drawing. At the same time almost everyone I knew had an interest in cars, working on them, customizing them or building them.
One of the other interests of the era was mini-bikes or go carts. There were always old lawnmower engines to be had and frames could be built even from wood. About the biggest outlay was for a centrifugal clutch and chain.
Someone also mentioned models, plastic and balsa.
Times have changed.
Our world has entered the electronic age. Cars can no longer be worked on, machining has gone to CNC, set up your tools, load a part and press a button, the interest in building models has been replaced by 'texting'. While most of the high school shops have been dismantled there are local vocational schools that still offer 'industrial arts' classes but I'm not even sure how much longer these will endure.
I entered an apprenticeship for metal patternmaking in the late 60's at the Ford Motor Co. It was a 4 years apprenticeship accompanied by classes at the local high school covering drafting, metallurgy, machining, math and physics.
The last apprentices we hired were in the late 80's and I suspect that most of the large industrial companies ended their programs about the same time.
I have 2 boys, one who is very mechanically inclined and the other somewhat but even with dad's machining hobby as part of their life for 40 some years neither of them took a direct interest in turning handles.
If it didn't even catch their interest then there's not much of a chance for others to be drawn into the hobby.
Times have changed.
I lost my job because they don't make automobile engine parts from iron any longer. It was an inevitable change.
I enjoyed my training, my job and my hobbies but they were from another era. All we can do is accept the changes, mostly because we can't do anything about them anyway, and when you attend an engineering show or even participate on a forum such as this, offer all the information you can. The ones that are asking are doing so because they have an interest in our hobby and might perpetuate it for another decade or two.
Times have changed!
George D. Britnell
Talent unshared is talent wasted.

Offline Terryd

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2013, 01:25:44 PM »
Hi Jo,

the lack of interest in model engineering at leqst in the UK has a set of complex reasons:

Lack of apprenticeships in Mech. Eng.
Decline of related subjects in Schools allied to the closing of workshops and selling off equipment;
Lack of expertise amongst the school teaching profession, due to changes in training (due to 'National Curriculum');
Lack of experienced Engineers entering the teaching profession from industry;
Rise of CNC in industry and less manual machining, fitting and bench work;
Changes in maintenance, i.e. replacement of faulty units instead of repair;
Lack of opportunities for using machinery and hand tools,
no awareness of what is possible.
Fewer hobbies which involve making e.g. plastic assembly kits, Model aircraft, Etc etc.
Rise of IT based hobbies and interests such as gaming and the increase in emphasis on IT subjects in school.

If we are to encourage future model engineers than something must replace the lost opportunities which our generation was exposed to almost on a daily basis.  Should the clubs be more open and offer such exposure and opportunities - it would be a huge call.

I must admit to being a bit pessimistic about the future of the hobby among younger generations having seen how their opportunities in Education have become more limited, especially the increasing emphasis on resullts in the so called 'academic' subjects and the blinkered view of 'education' among our political masters.

Regards

Terry :(

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2013, 01:27:43 PM »
Well said George  :ThumbsUp:
 :cheers:
DaveH

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2013, 01:57:55 PM »

Dave, at least you are in the majority, there are more men in this hobby than women.
Jo
Jo,
That just means you are a lot "odder" than the rest of us on here  :lolb: :lolb: :lolb:
 :cheers:
DaveH
 

Offline John S

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2013, 03:06:17 PM »
I resemble that last remark !
John Stevenson, Nottingham , England

Offline Captain Jerry

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2013, 03:32:44 PM »
What! No youngsters?  This summer I crossed the line between early 70's and late 70's but in this hobby I am a youngster and this is my club.  I have had a lifelong interest in how thing work and how they are made but mostly I have kept that under my hat and I scrub my hands and fingernails carefully.  Among my social friends, except for cruising sailors, mechanical interest is absent if not discouraged.  But that is ok.  My shop time and the things that I build are for my private enjoyment, and yours.

If you are a member of this forum, you are already hooked, but I am not in favor of encouraging kids in their 20's or 30's to get involved.  This hobby is addictive and time consuming and is probably not a path to career advancement and a young man or woman does not need the distraction.  Their world is competitive and fast paced and they don't need to spend too much time with old ideas.

They will retire someday and maybe look for something to do when they are to old to play golf.  It is never to late to learn.  Maybe we should be looking to retirement communities for new converts.

Jerry
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