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How do I learn to become of mechanical engineer?

I am 14 years old, in middle school, and really into mechanical engineering. I am a really good problem solver, and I believe that I am able to think like an engineer. I think my one problem is a lack of knowledge. I want to learn more of engineering tools, and techniques, especially with computer hardware and software. Things like arduino, and raspberry pi. I want to learn how to use these to make my own little projects, I just don’t know how. I am taking classes in school, but middle school curriculum is basic, and not teaching me the things i want to learn, and not very in depth. How can I learn these things outside of school?

Thank you comment icon Here are some. https://www.youtube.com/@EngineeringMindset My channel is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZaZbwYFERPvbiDcri8MhSw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpXcYGRCCPs The internet search should bring up much more. David C Byram

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Subject: Career question for you

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David C’s Answer

Embarking on the journey to become a mechanical engineer at 14 is a thrilling endeavor! Here's an enriched guide to set you on the right path:

Grasp the Fundamentals: Start by immersing yourself in the core principles of mathematics and physics. These disciplines are the pillars of engineering, and building a robust foundation will be crucial as you advance.

Dive into STEM Subjects: Seize every chance to delve deeper into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through your school syllabus, extracurricular pursuits, or web-based resources. Search for clubs, workshops, or camps that center around engineering or robotics.

Participate in Practical Activities: Look for activities that let you put theoretical knowledge into practice. Constructing models, experimenting with basic machines, or taking part in science fairs can help you hone practical skills and gain a richer understanding of engineering principles.

Hone Technical Skills: As you progress, think about mastering computer-aided design (CAD) software and programming languages pertinent to mechanical engineering. These technical skills will prove beneficial in designing and scrutinizing mechanical systems.

Undertake Advanced Studies: Opt for rigorous courses in high school, like advanced mathematics, physics, and engineering if they're available. Consider signing up for Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs to gear up for college-level studies.

Discover Specializations: Mechanical engineering is a vast field with numerous specializations, including robotics, aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing. Investigate different sectors to discover what best aligns with your passions and career aspirations.

Find Mentorship and Guidance: Connect with professionals or educators in the realm of mechanical engineering for advice and mentorship. They can offer priceless insights, career guidance, and networking opportunities.

Join Engineering Events and Conferences: Attend engineering conferences, seminars, or workshops to stay abreast of the latest breakthroughs in the field and network with fellow engineering enthusiasts.

Consider Internships or Co-op Programs: Seek out internships or cooperative education (co-op) programs that provide practical work experience in engineering firms or research institutions. These opportunities enable you to acquire real-world experience and establish professional connections.

Gear Up for College: Investigate colleges and universities with robust mechanical engineering programs. Look for institutions that provide hands-on learning experiences, research opportunities, and a nurturing academic environment.

Remain Inquisitive and Resilient: Engineering can be demanding, but don't let obstacles deter you. Stay inquisitive, continue asking questions, and persist in your quest for knowledge and skills.

Bear in mind that becoming a mechanical engineer is a journey that demands commitment, diligence, and lifelong learning. Stay focused on your objectives, and don't hesitate to seek assistance from mentors and peers along the way.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your answer! I have already started taking advanced classes in math and physics, and will be taking calculus next year. Do you know of any good online courses, YouTube channels, or websites that can help me learn more about mechanical engineering? Austin
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Karin’s Answer

Hi Austin,

It is great that you discovered your passion for engineering. Starting early will certainly give you a headstart.

Luckily, you can find many resources on the web. I linked below some YouTube channels and some other pages with project ideas.

I would also recommend that you start participating in Science Fairs. Winning prizes or maybe even going to the International Science Fair (Regeneron ISEF) will give you a great boost! You can get information here:

https://www.slcschools.org/departments/science/district-science-and-engineering-fair

https://usef.utah.edu/

It would be best if you can work with a mentor at the university to access their resources and get help when you need it.


The university of Utah also runs programs for K-12 students including a pre-engineering program:

https://www.price.utah.edu/k12

https://www.price.utah.edu/k12/pre-engineering

I hope this helps! If you need more, just dig around a bit on the interwebs. Google is your friend!

All the best!

KP

Karin recommends the following next steps:

https://youtu.be/LwZ35wZJreU?si=p654Y8cwAHrdOEYg
https://youtu.be/fJWR7dBuc18?si=gvO9Rdxiz5he0j0h
https://youtu.be/t38BDEoDwnY?si=QRa27si3N-VQQMwn
https://www.instructables.com/Arduino-Projects/
https://pimylifeup.com/category/projects/
Thank you comment icon Your advice was so helpful! Austin
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome! Karin P.
Thank you comment icon Oh, this might be good (and free): https://youtu.be/DPqiIzK97K0?si=Gq-MohPkeM03EEBf Karin P.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Austin,

Embarking on the journey to explore mechanical engineering and master tools such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi? Here's a roadmap to guide you:

1. Lay a Strong Foundation: Don't underestimate the power of middle school subjects. Brush up your knowledge in mathematics and science, focusing on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and physics. These are the building blocks of engineering.

2. Leverage Online Courses: A plethora of online platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, and edX offer both free and paid courses on mechanical engineering, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi. These platforms cater to beginners and intermediates alike, allowing you to learn at a comfortable pace and select subjects that pique your interest.

3. Dive into Arduino and Raspberry Pi Projects: Arduino and Raspberry Pi are fantastic gateways to the world of electronics and programming. Numerous beginner-friendly projects are available online. Websites like Instructables, Adafruit, and SparkFun provide detailed guides to help you create your own projects.

4. Read Relevant Books: Several books can guide you through your learning journey. For Arduino and Raspberry Pi, consider "Getting Started with Arduino" by Massimo Banzi and "Raspberry Pi User Guide" by Eben Upton. For mechanical engineering, "Introduction to Mechanical Engineering: Design" by James Gere and Barry Adams is a great starting point.

5. Participate in a Club or Community: Joining a club or online community can provide a platform to learn from peers and receive feedback on your projects. Explore if your school has a robotics or engineering club. If not, local clubs or online communities might be available. Websites like Meetup can help you locate local groups that align with your interests.

6. Seek Internships and Volunteering Opportunities: Once you've gained some experience, consider internships or volunteering at local companies or organizations. This will offer you hands-on experience and help you establish connections in the industry.

7. Don't Hesitate to Ask for Help: If you hit a roadblock, reach out for help. Numerous online resources are available, and experts in the field are often willing to provide advice. You can find such experts on websites like Stack Exchange or through online forums and communities.

Remember, the journey to becoming a mechanical engineer is a marathon, not a sprint. If you don't grasp everything immediately, don't worry. Keep learning, experimenting, and asking questions, and you'll gradually see progress. Best of luck on your journey!

May God bless you,
James Constantine.
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Oluwaseun’s Answer

Hi Austin,

I'm thrilled to hear about your love for mechanical engineering and your curiosity about engineering tools like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. While schools usually cover the basics, they might not dive deep into specific topics, especially at your age. But there are lots of ways you can keep learning outside of school:

- Check out online platforms like YouTube, Coursera, Khan Academy, and Udemy. They offer tutorials and courses on Arduino, Raspberry Pi, programming, and engineering concepts, often for free or at a low cost.
- Join online communities and forums where people talk about mechanical engineering, DIY projects, and electronics. Websites like Reddit and Stack Exchange have active communities where you can ask questions and learn from experienced folks.
- Start with small projects using Arduino or Raspberry Pi kits. There are lots of starter kits with instructions and parts for different projects. Trying things out will give you hands-on experience and help you learn.
- Don't be afraid to try new things and learn from mistakes. Experimenting, solving problems, and exploring new ideas are all important parts of learning.

Remember, learning is a journey, and it's awesome that you're eager to expand your skills. Stay curious, stay motivated, and don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

Best of luck with your engineering adventures!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Austin
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Patrick’s Answer

Austin, I appreciate you reaching out with your questions about Mechanical Engineering. I trust the details below will be insightful and beneficial to you.

It's impressive to see your love for mechanical engineering and your keenness to understand it more, especially at your young age. Your enthusiasm and knack for problem-solving are key strengths that will surely aid you in pursuing a career in this domain. Let's delve into some practical steps to boost your knowledge and skills in mechanical engineering, with a special emphasis on tools and techniques such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Firstly, the internet is loaded with resources tailored to different skill levels, including beginners. Hunt for online courses and tutorials specifically designed for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other mechanical engineering concepts. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Khan Academy host a plethora of courses covering topics from basic electronics to advanced engineering principles.

Try to find local engineering clubs, workshops, or maker spaces in your neighborhood. These venues often offer hands-on experience and mentorship for budding engineers. You'll get to team up with people who share your interests, work on projects, and acquire practical skills that supplement your classroom learning.

Participate in online communities and forums dedicated to mechanical engineering and DIY projects. Platforms like Reddit, Stack Exchange, and specialized forums for Arduino and Raspberry Pi fans are ideal places to ask questions, exchange ideas, and learn from others' experiences. You'll discover a supportive community ready to assist you in overcoming obstacles and broadening your knowledge.

Exercise your problem-solving abilities by launching your own projects using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or other hardware/software tools. Begin with easy projects and gradually raise the difficulty as you grow more confident and skilled. Constructing projects not only solidifies your understanding of engineering concepts but also offers hands-on experience vital for your evolution as an engineer.

Dive into textbooks, technical manuals, and literature related to mechanical engineering, electronics, and programming. While some of these resources may be more advanced, they can offer comprehensive knowledge and insights into the theoretical aspects of engineering principles and their practical applications.

Connect with professionals in the field of mechanical engineering or related industries. Think about reaching out to local engineers, university professors, or professionals in STEM fields who might be open to mentoring you. Their guidance and expertise can provide valuable viewpoints, career guidance, and networking opportunities as you follow your passion for mechanical engineering.

Bear in mind that learning is an ongoing journey, and the engineering field is always changing. Remain curious, stay involved, and keep looking for opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills. Whether it's through formal education, hands-on projects, or networking with professionals, every learning experience contributes to your development as a mechanical engineer.

Lastly, even if your middle school curriculum doesn't cover the specific tools and techniques you're interested in, there are countless ways outside of school to deepen your understanding of mechanical engineering concepts and gain practical experience. By using online resources, interacting with communities, creating projects, seeking mentorship, and keeping a desire for knowledge, you can certainly lay the groundwork for a fulfilling career in mechanical engineering.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Patrick! Austin
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