Visuals for Short Film on Engineering

Hey there internet! Right now I’m learning about statistics and researching the statistics of engineering. I’m reading through National Science Foundation studies and reports published by MIT. I’m also pulling at my hair trying to find other sources of data on degrees and jobs of engineers. Because not everyone who has an engineering degree becomes an engineer. Life is interesting that way.

I’m working on a short-film (5 minutes) for MIT that addresses engineering. I wrote a proposal for the film and that was accepted by the MIT K-12 program but I still needed to find some more set-in-stone direction for my script and my interviews. So, during my lunch break, I did a thought workshop with myself and decided on some goals for the film. When I get home I’m going to take a photograph of the results of the thought workshop and post it here.

But to sum up the results, I have some goals for this film.

1. Show A. what engineering is (disciplines) and B. who engineers are (students and professionals)

2. Convince audience (young high school students) that they want to become engineers, show these students that the steps to becoming engineers, convince students to follow these steps.

With these goals in mind, I set off with my search through the National Science Foundation studies. I’ll do more research over the weekend, but it was kind of an out-of-body experience to read through these reports. I am an engineering student, an engineering student nearing the end of my bachelor’s program, and it was interesting to read about the paths of engineering students before me. Those who pursued advanced studies, those who became professional engineers and those who found another path altogether.

The process of turning statistics into illustrations is going to take a while. I took a quick stab at an illustration I’ve been planning for a while. The illustration of the typical pathways, see below in two versions. It was a quick sketch in PowerPoint. The final illustration will be done in Illustrator but I think I’m off to a good start. I think the v2 (posted first) is less confusing. While v1 has less white-space and better utilizes the space offered by a typical horizontal monitor or visual, I like the idea of the careers being together in one box and being at the bottom of the visual. It helps guide the viewer to the conclusion that all of these careers are the ultimate goal.

I’m excited about this film and the people I’ll get to talk to in the process of pulling it together. I’ll try to update semi-regularly as I go through the process of researching, writing, developing illustrations, interviewing other students, filming, editing.

Typical engineering pathways, through school and later career.

Illustration of typical engineering pathways, through school and later career. Version 2.


Illustration of the typical engineering school/career pathways.

Illustration of the typical engineering school/career pathways. Version 1.


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