Engineering Overview

Engineering is the use of science and math to design or make things or solve technical problems. Engineering and the development of new technologies are all about problem-solving. Today, engineers apply well-established scientific principles and cutting-edge innovations to design, build, improve, operate, and maintain complex devices, structures, systems, and processes. Everything from cars, computers, mobile phones, makeup, shoes and even cutlery exist, are constantly worked on and improved thanks to engineers!
NASA for Kids: Intro to Engineering

What is Engineering? Definition, Introduction and a Brief History

There are six major branches of engineering;

  1. Mechanical:  Combining engineering physics and mathematical principles with materials science to design, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems.
  2. Chemical: Applied chemistry. Chemical engineering deals with chemical production and manufacturing products through a chemical process; The design, construction and operation of machines and plants that perform chemical reactions to solve practical problems or make useful products; Designing equipment, systems and processes for refining raw materials and for mixing, compounding and processing chemicals to make products.
  3. Civil: Designing and building structures that serve the general public, such as dams, bridges, aqueducts, canals, power plants, highways, sewage systems and other infrastructure.
  4. Electrical Management: The study and design of devices and equipment that use electricity, electromagnetism and electronic components. Electrical engineers work on a wide range of components, devices and systems, from tiny microchips to high power station generators.
  5. Geotechnical: The research and study of soil to evaluate its stability for foundations. They assess and investigate construction sites, conduct lab tests, create designs for structures, supervise construction, and write and present reports. 

Under each branch are hundreds of different subcategories. There are about 200 subcategories; you can explore them here: Types of Engineering.

Robotics Resources:

Robotics is the interception of engineering and technology. Robots perform tasks for humans like manufacturing, exploration, assembly/packaging, surgeries and repetitive tasks. All robots and computers alike require coding. Some coding languages include; Binary, Python, Scratch, HTML and CSS, JavaScript, SQL and PHP. Some of these languages can be learned at we3schools.com.

Sound interesting? If you are interested in becoming an engineer or a robotics engineer, maybe you’ll be the next person to make robots smarter! Check out the links below for more information on and activities related to robotics.

Hour of Code has many 1-hour coding skill activities to help you learn coding basics and improve your skills.

Pinnguaq offers many free online courses, including Introduction to Python and Introduction to Scratch, where they introduce the basics of each program so you can begin creating. 

Follow this link, “Cyber Robotics Challenge,” select the tab “Join a Class,” and use the code “jg5io2ipr6” to compete with other STEMforGIRLS Club members! You will need to create a CoderZ account.

Post Secondary / Education:

Memorial University’s Bachelor of Engineering offers several different specialties (CivilComputerElectricalMechanicalOcean & Naval Architectural and Process) to prepare you for a career in Engineering!

CNA offers several engineering technology co-op diplomas, including Engineering Technology (first year)Architectural Engineering TechnologyMechanical Engineering Technology, and Welding Engineering Technician, to name a few.

Memorial University offers an Engineering Summer Camp Program for youth ages 6 to 18 to learn what it’s like to be an engineer. Their program offerings for grades 7-12 are:

  • Teen Circuit (grades 7-9)
  • Explore Engineering (grades 10-12)
  • STEMories (virtual weekly STE challenge for families)

MUN is also host to Newfoundland and Labrador’s chapter of Robogals. Check out their Facebook page for more information!

The Research Inspired Student Enrichment (RISE) Awards provide NL high school students the opportunity to attend research-related enrichment programs focused on STEM providing hands-on participation in STEM activities. More information about the RISE awards and the application can be found at the link above. 

Women in Science and Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador (WISE NL) has a Student Summer Employment Program, which provides grade 11 female students with the opportunity to work in paid summer Science and Engineering Research Assistant positions.

For more career insight, check out our Role Models page. Our role model JoAnne Norman works as a Plant Civil Engineer for NL Hydro and got her Bachelor of Engineering at MUN; see her profile for more information on her career journey!


Epic Engineering: Building the Brooklyn Bridge

General Resources: 


Engineers Of Tomorrow

Women in Science and Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador 

Aboriginal access to engineering

Games / At Home Projects:

Engineering.com Games

Minecraft Classic 

Engineering Games – PBS KIDS

50+ awesome engineering projects for kids




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