Maybe its just me but when I was a grad student at an Ivy League school, my friends in mech and elec engineering were universally motorheads. Seemed a common affliction then...
We used to use the materials lab (machines) and e lab stuff (scopes, etc) as our troubleshooting and fabrication stuff... Aside from the usual ways to get motors to pump more air, we did stuff like desigin / calibrate circuits that adapted existing gauges like tachs to handle signals coming off the (then new) electronic ignition boxes (that produced a signal with harmonics that have to filtered or factored out)
My own son never had any interest in vehicles when young. But he is one tightwad re spending cash for something he can do himself so he has learned to do his own work and then took up track play - once with me as one of his early instructors. Be interesting to see how far this young lady goes with her Fiero - with some chassis mods and the a bit of breathing on the bigger motor she's putting in, they can be quite fun...
Sometimes being a wrench is nothing more than a means to an end. This young lady wanted to build and drive a Fiero. In order to do that, she had to learn to do some wrenching. She may not even particularly like doing the work, but to her, the final product is the prize. Who knows where this could lead her as she grows into adulthood? She may just be one of those that can reach any goal they attempt, or for sure won't be afraid to try.
Some people just like to tackle projects, any projects, themselves. so they can have that feeling of accomplishment. My oldest son is like that. He's not partcularly skilled at being a mechanic, a carpenter, etc., but man, what he lacks in skill he makes up for in ambition. I admire him for this.
Honestly, I don't think tinkering and doing mechanical type of work is necessarily that closely related to one's college education or vocation. I mean, if someone LIKES to tinker, they can turn that into a career, for sure. But I've known some engineering types who are quite bright and creative who wouldn't know how to adjust a crescent wrench. I've also know some that could literally build and/or fix anything. Those are the truly gifted.
Brad D. - Member #105766
'77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
'94 R1100RS - Sylvia
This thread reminds me of an interesting book some of you may want to read. Shop class as soulcraft : an inquiry into the value of work by Matthew B. Crawford
All government, of course, is against liberty.
H. L. Mencken
I hired several Engineers and Engineering co-ops over the years and one of the most important questions I asked in interviews was do you do your own auto maintenance, or did you fix your own bicycle, or get yelled at for taking apart something as a kid, just to see how it worked.
Surprisingly I had a conversation with a retired Engineering manager from Kodak, and he used the same line of questioning, to weed out applicants.
Curiosity and the desire to understand how thing work is a great motivator.
I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Our motto was Learn By Doing. Engineering students had to build things on a regular basis. Comparing recent grads from Cal Berkely to Cal Poly, you can see a huge difference in how they were taught. Poly students have a more physical grasp on what is going on, Berkely grads seem to know the theoretical, but take more time to grasp the physical reality.
I just saw the fiero on the CNN website, and have been reading the thread. Nice to see its made its way over here. I remember an old girlfriend had a fiero. I always wanted to find a nice gt.