National Engineering Week, Feb. 17 to 23, aims to promote the importance of engineering, technology and science to young audiences. The outreach initiative, Zoom Into Engineering, is an effort to get more people into the engineering profession at a younger age, so they have the secondary math and science education skills to enter college engineering programs.

A variety of programs will promote the program's initiative. The PBS television show, "ZOOM," will center three episodes on engineering concepts. Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day encourages women working in the engineering field. Surveys show that women are underrepresented in the engineering profession, and, in part, the reason is a lack of encouragement for girls in middle school and high school math and science courses. This year the program hopes to reach more than one million girls.

For the Future City Competition, middle school students, with the guidance of teachers and volunteer engineers, build cities of tomorrow. Students begin planning cities on a computer and then build 3-D scale models. Students must also defend their designs to a panel of engineer judges, as well as conduct research and write essays. For more information on National Engineers Week, visit