Mission and History


The DiscoverE (formerly National Engineers Week Foundation) mission is to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration, and volunteerism.

DiscoverE helps stakeholders expand community and educational outreach by:

  • Providing resources and turnkey programs for employees and volunteers
  • Supporting strong workforce diversity initiatives
  • Promoting positive visibility within the engineering and technology communities, including college students and the public-at-large

DiscoverE and its working coalition of 100+ organizations is known as one of the most effective collaborations today, recognized by corporations and engineering societies, and mentioned in two reports by the National Academy of Engineering.


History

The engineering community celebrated Engineers Week beginning in 1951, when the National Society of Professional Engineers initiated it. For the next several decades Engineers Week programs were local, disconnected, and mostly focused within the profession. 

In 1990, the Foundation and Bechtel Group launched "DiscoverE," the first formal national call to engineer volunteers for engagement in K-12 education, partly in response to government studies showing future shortages in engineering talent. DiscoverE became the Foundation's K-12 umbrella volunteer outreach movement.

An enthusiastic response to DiscoverE drove the Foundation to develop additional volunteer materials and programs while working to meet partners’ specific needs: National Engineers Week Future City Competition (1993); Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (2001); Global Marathon for, by, and about Women in Engineering & Technology (2005); New Faces of Engineering (2003) and College Edition (2011); and DiscoverE Educator Recognition (2012).

By 2013, it became apparent that with such a robust and diverse portfolio, a broad and deep coalition, and year-round engagement, our organizational name—National Engineers Week Foundation—was inaccurate and misleading. We wanted a name reflective of who we are and who we serve. The one selected was the catalyst for all accomplishments: DiscoverE.


Now

Our volunteers may participate through coordinated volunteer programs or may simply be individuals who want to make a difference. Together, it is thousands of footprints that create a large impression.

At our core we are about people and building enduring relationships.

  • We are mission-driven and believe we support an important purpose.
  • We are an open source, providing the framework for others to adopt and innovate; we offer programs, tools, and resources to help focus volunteer efforts.
  • We are a volunteer hub, allowing volunteers to deliver programs and leverage resources many times over. For volunteers to make an impact, their good work must be networked and supported.

Why Volunteers?

  • The obstacles to reaching students to help improve their interest and aptitude in STEM subjects are so great that we cannot rely on teachers alone. Skilled volunteers are uniquely qualified to partner with educators, students, and community leaders, who generally have little knowledge in engineering and technology.
  • Many adults need information about engineering and technology to help them make informed decisions when it comes to political issues or helping their children and students make education and career decisions. Skilled volunteers have the knowledge to impart information and inspiration.
  • There is a hunger for volunteer opportunities and resources among engineers and engineering students.  
  • Engineering employers know that employee volunteers are energized by their volunteer experiences and that energy is reflected in the workplace.

Join Us!

With a new name and logos for all programs, we encourage you to join us in making DiscoverE a recognized brand for the public in engineering outreach and celebration. 


How?

Simply use the program logos to identify your Engineers Week, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, or other DiscoverE program showing you are part of a larger community. Many imprints will add up to a significant impact and recognition for engineering and the work of volunteers in helping others discover engineering.