Tell a six-year-old that elasticity relies on a key principle of engineering and expect eyes to glaze over. Let that child make a mini-bungee jump by putting an egg in the toe of a nylon stocking to test how far it can drop before it splatters, however, and consider it a lesson in engineering learned.

Messy? Maybe, but it suits the aims of the organizers of National Engineers Week 2002(tm) (Alexandria, VA) just fine. In an effort to reach an even younger audience, namely 6 to 12 year olds, the National Engineers Week committee, a consortium of more than 100 engineering societies and corporations, is launching a new educational program, Zoom™ Into Engineering.

Based on ZOOM, the daily PBS television series and Web site produced by WGBH Boston, the program will teach children the essence of engineering through hands on experiments, such as the bungee egg and other fun activities. To kick off the program, National Engineers Week 2002 co-chairs the American Society of Civil Engineers and DuPont hosted a training seminar to hone the teaching skills of engineers on October 15, 2001, at the National Building Museum in Washington.