I found the article below to be very insightful. Before I begin to dissect the article and apply my uniquely qualified opinion, allow me to digress for a moment.
It occured to me that there are not enough commercial entities which offer encouragement, much less romanticize the field of engineering. Instead, you're more likely to find shows which emphasize the high drama of the doctors or lawyers. Why is that?
Actually, some of you may recall the show called MacGyver, it depicted a guy who was a great problem solver. I have no idea if he was an engineer but he clearly was resourceful and inquisitive, both of which are attributes of many engineers. The show aired for about seven years and was pulled off the air. I don't believe it has received much syndication. In fact, it was the only show of its type. In contrast, there have been a never ending deluge of court, hospital and lately business shows. To reiterate my point, it was the only show which glamourized what I consider 'engineer-like' traits. Don't misunderstand, I do believe that law and medicine are admirable professions, and both require a certain amount of discipline, but it is clearly not engineering.
I suppose the stereotypical stigmas associated with engineering (ie. taped glasses, exaggerated overbite, etc) are partly responsible. Yeah, just like the popular sitcom Family MattersUrkel. I'm sure everyone remembers Animal House too. It has been said that most engineers are anti-social and lack essential communication skills. While I do know some that fit that description, I would argue that these are largely myths. The problem I have with all of these misguided perceptions, is that it has become a deterent to aspiring scientists and engineers. These days the term nerd or geek isn't nearly as offensive to some. However, a youngster may not understand and begin to develop self hatred and a disdain for fascinations that really describe their interests and ultimately define their personality. The sad truth is there aren't enough high schools that foster excellence. Fortunately, I attend BTHS, and it did have its share of very talented, err shall I say nerdy teenagers.