Author Topic: Age and Model Engineers  (Read 15951 times)

Offline DaveH

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2013, 03:37:20 PM »
Then there is of course my other side, I couldn't care less ( I really couldn't ) if any youngster's come into this hobby or not.
Is there a reason why I should care?
 :cheers:
DaveH
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 05:03:53 PM by DaveH »

Offline Lew Hartswick

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2013, 03:40:16 PM »
Like Sir John S. I never built or anticipate building any "model" engines. But sure do enjoy "inventing" and
designing and building all sorts of jigs and fixtures.  And volunteering at a high school metal shop
(about the only one of its kind in the state) I get a kick out of the one or two kids in a class that "get it"
when shown how to do a project on the lathe or mill.  The prospect for "home shop machining" is a best
pretty dim from what I see of the classes over the last 14 years though.  Most of the kids don't even have
enough interest in "results" of a project let alone the "process" (which is what intrigues me)  involved.
   ...Lew... ( b 1932)

Offline 90LX_Notch

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2013, 04:38:09 PM »
My son is nine and has an occasional interest.  We actually started Elmer's Tiny as his first engine.  So far we have had two machining sessions.  At this point I don't want to push him.  If it's going to happen, it will.  I used this approach with fishing.  I couldn't wait to take him when he was little.  I quickly learned that it was going to take some time.  By the time he was four our fishing sessions lasted for 15 mins. and I didn't even bother bringing my rod.  By the time he was seven it was like fishing with an adult.  He loved it and could operate a spinning reel by himself.   My hope is that engine building will follow the same path.

As far as schools dropping industrial arts-  I think it is a big mistake.  In my opinion band and choir should be dropped first.  Industrial art classes teach important skills that can carry you through life.  After the big storm hits, and your generator wont start, would you rather take the carb apart and get going or stare at it and sing a song.  Heck, maybe you could play a happy song on your flute as your wife and kids freeze to death.

The shop classes I took in high school carried me further in my working career then my bachelors and masters did.

-Bob
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Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2013, 04:49:01 PM »
As far as schools dropping industrial arts-  I think it is a big mistake.  In my opinion band and choir should be dropped first.  Industrial art classes teach important skills that can carry you through life.

I agree. I blame society in general (it's just easy). This attitude that sprang up at some point that "working in factories" is for some reason a demeaning and low level job, has steered entire nations away from manufacturing. Just exactly what is wrong with a job where you make things is beyond me.  :shrug:

There are a lot of ins and a lot of outs to it, which I'm not going to get into because politics and social issues on forums tends to be vgery inflammatory, but the net result is less emphasis on making things in school, means less interest in making things for a hobby.

All is not yet lost, I was judging a school science fair the other day, and there were some astoundingly excellent projects there. I don't just mean cool things kids made, but rpojects where an experiment was performed, and careful analysis had taken place. That was good to see anyway. Although there was a lack of actual physical things present. Not a single model steam engine anywhere. :(
Stuart

fcheslop

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2013, 05:17:33 PM »
Can you really blame kids for not having an interest in engineering just look what it has done to us
There was a time when an engineer had a degree to go with the title now you just need to clean toilette's to be qualified as a sanitary engineer what does that say about the status of engineering .I know if I had the chance again I would not go down the engineering route as long as I had a hole in my backside so why decry the younger generation for not been interested lets just face it we are dinosaur's  but at least we have fun and occasionally turn the tables on them.

Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2013, 05:26:53 PM »
The fact is, that things will always need to be made. Somewhere in the world, there will always need to be machine tools turning out parts. At the basic level, steel and aluminum will need to be cut from one form into another form to make the stuff people want. It doesn't matter whether that happens on CNC or manual machines, it will take expertise and know how to do it, and it needs to remain in our countries.

As regards the way titles are applied now - yes it stinks in a way. But I don't see it as ruining the engineering profession. It is because engineering is so noble and important that people seek to apply the term "engineer" to whatever job they are doing.

Engineering is fundamental to existence. Engineers always have been, and always will be needed. Manufacturing is a central part of an economy, and needs to be nurtured. The offshoot of that is more amateur engineering interest.

Engineers rule.

That's a sort of pun. ;D
Stuart

Offline 90LX_Notch

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2013, 05:27:08 PM »
Ah yes Prop, but how much adult help went into the projects?  That is another disturbing trend, the parents doing all of the kids work.  I see it with the Pinewood Derby that the Cub Scouts have.  One kid could barely use scissors and showed up with a perfect car.  Amazing!  I help my son with his but, I won't build the entire car.  I'm so bad about this he didn't participate last year.  He kept blowing it off everytime I said: "Hey, we should work on your car."  I told him numerous times that I would not build it for him.  He learned a lesson as he was the only boy in the whole Pack who did not race.  When I was his age I would have cut my left nut off to build a "racecar".  We will see what happens this year.

-Bob
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Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2013, 05:29:30 PM »
Ah yes Prop, but how much adult help went into the projects? 

A good point, but it was mixed, and went multiple ways. Part of the judging involved interviewing the kids. It was pretty clear which kids did the work themselves, and I was happy to see that most of them did.

There were some disturbing entries where it was clear the parents did the work, and had done a rotten job of it, frankly. In those cases the kids would have been better off on their own, I expect.  :facepalm:

The pinewood derby is a good exanple where too often the parents do pretty much everything.  ::)
Stuart

fcheslop

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2013, 05:39:53 PM »
Hi Propforward, sorry I have to disagree I just think engineering and manufacturing at least in the UK has gone down the pan and that anyone who works with there hands for a living is now treat like a third class citizen or at least that's the way my world has gone
cheers

Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2013, 05:47:16 PM »
A big salute to those that are really trying to raise your children. So many think it's the school system's responsibility, yet, they b**ch when little whatever isn't treated right. You know if you raise a dog to point birds you can't fuss at them when they won't run a rabbit. Might be in theis "raisins"

Eric

fcheslop

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2013, 05:53:39 PM »
Hi DaveH, I think youre comments are bang on target
cheers

Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2013, 06:01:07 PM »
Hi Propforward, sorry I have to disagree I just think engineering and manufacturing at least in the UK has gone down the pan and that anyone who works with there hands for a living is now treat like a third class citizen or at least that's the way my world has gone
cheers

Well yes, that is where my comments regarding manufacturing come in. For some reason, working in factories and making things is regarded as a low quality job. That doesn't change that engineering and manufacturing are actually highly critical and important, it's just people don't see it that way.

This is part of the reason why I left the UK and went to the USA.
Stuart

Offline steamer

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2013, 06:17:13 PM »
OK guys....which windmill are we jousting here.

If your position is such that you feel no responsibility to the profession, the hobby, or the next generation.   Thats fine.    But ...don't whine later about the atrophy of society.

Part of being a "gray beard" is to mentor and teach the younger and less experienced one...that's my position on the subject....Your mileage may vary...professional driver on closed course....yada yada yada....

As for this side of the pond anyway.   I know that Engineering will be a needed profession for some time to come.   My son likes to make stuff in the shop, and scores very well in math and science....he's got the knack...maybe I'm just blessed.....I'll take it

but I have seen the younger generation in a lot of forms....some couldn't be bothered....but I've seen the other side too!

I was Engineer on "Sabino" one evening 10 or so years ago...and this inquisitive little boy was looking down to the engine room from the railing....watching EVERY move I made as I tended the boiler and answered the manuvering bells.......he was quiet at first, but then quietly....and EXTREMELY respectfully...I got a question:

Excuse me sir, may I ask you a question?    ( when was the last time you were called Sir or Maam?.....it got my attention)

Sure!  I'm Engineer Dave....how can I help you.  ( Mind you I'm coverd in oil and coal dust and the engine room is 140 degrees...so I don't smell so good either!)

Every question began with "Sir?"

He then asked a small question about when I should decide to put more coal on the fire?.....VERY politely!   and with very good diction....you don't hear this often...I was intriqued.

He then took that answer, and formed a new question based on the new found data....15 minutes goes by...and we're talking....and I got to say...this kid really impressed me!

I look around the boat a little...and about 15 feet away forward by the bulwark was guy staring at us with a big grin on his face...and he mouthed ...is this OK?

I gave him the high sign...and he just left us to talk for another 20 minutes.....and the questions got pretty technical...every question based on the answer he got from the previous question....
At the end of this conversation ...his Dad came by....and offered to "take him off my hands" ....which I said    buy all means stay and ask any question you like!

He asked me about school and I explained my 4 year degree, and why I was a VOLUNTEER on that boat doing what I was doing.

He enjoyed it a great deal, but not as much as I did!

He new what gage said what , when I should fire, when I should rake, when the condensate valves should and should not be open, what the bypass valve was, where we got our coal from, the size of the grate, which fire tool was which, and what they were used for.....and I could go on!.....

Blew MY MIND!

At the end of the charter, I took him down the engine room and showed him around....he loved it!....and was extremely well behaved.

I wouldn't be surprised to find myself working for this kid someday....I'd be alright with that.

So lets just say....I'm a bit more optimistic. 8)

Dave

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

Offline propforward

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2013, 06:20:06 PM »
That's a great story Dave. I see that kind of thing too, and it is wonderful when you encounter it. Genuine, polite interest. And some basic manners.

Heck, I'm happy to get that from the adults I meet, and that's rare enough, some days.
Stuart

Offline rleete

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Re: Age and Model Engineers
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2013, 06:21:32 PM »
I'm among the younger members here, just having gone past 50. I took metal and wood shop in high school.  No idea if it's even still offered.  But it was my father who passed on the tradition of fixing and making things.  Mostly because we both share the same trait of being cheapskates.  Never spend a buck if you can make it or make do.  And because it is an outlet for my creativity beside work, where I am a mechanical designer.

That said, I am a relative newbie.  I don't get the time in the shop because of work and family, which limits my output & skill level.  I do, however, show off my engines and other projects to the neighboorhood kids, aged between 6 and 10.  They are all fascinated with the engines, and will sometimes ask if I'll get them out and run them.  They show interest in almost everything, from tools to engines to the pens I make.  They ask questions, and are genuinely impressed.  This leads me to believe that the main problem is not laziness or inability (or whatever), but just opportunity.  Exposure to the world of machines, to the people that make stuff.

You want to encourage the younger people to make stuff?  Then YOU must be the one to show them that it can be done, and offer to help make things.  Dad is likely off playing golf like Jo said.  If he's not making stuff, junior will never even know about lathes and mills and tooling.  I learned to operate a table saw from dad.  I "graduated" to metal working several years ago when I came across one of those old Popular Science articles on making an engine.  Being a bit older than when I first saw it, and having both the space and finances to get started led me to the web and forums.

That never would have happened had I not had the exposure to it at an early age.