How To Solve Engineering Homework Problems: Advice For High School Students

Engineering. Nope, it is not for everyone. It decidedly isn't. In fact, sometimes, being an engineer myself I wonder if it’s for anyone at all. It can be hard, demanding and make you want to procrastinate beyond the limits of reasonableness. Yes, it can be incredibly beautiful, but only once you've found the beauty. Before that, it's all blood, sweat and more blood because no one can cry in engineering.

This is why making high school students take engineering as a subject is practically as bad as violating their human rights. They don't even necessarily want to nor have the ability for it. And if there's one thing about engineering (enjoy-neering if you actually do like it) is that there's always a bunch and a half of homework. Why? Because in engineering, you need to learn more by doing and practicing than by sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher drone on and on.

So what to do when you need to solve problems (theoretical and practical)? The answer, as with many things in life is the internet. You can:

  • Look up the answers to your textbook problems online, if they are theoretical.
  • Look up step by step guides on how to do what you have to do. (They are easy to find; just make sure that you're typing your query just right.)
  • Ask an actual engineer. Yes, your teacher does count, and they will probably help you because you're showing interest.
  • Copy off of that kid in class that actually does get stuff. (If there isn't one, look for upperclassmen; they might be able to help you.)
  • Get a tutor. (Again, look for upperclassmen or that genius kid in class.)
  • If all else fails, you can watch videos online explaining and demonstrating how to solve, and why the process is that way, for the problem at hand. It won't be the exact same, value-wise, but it will give you a very good idea of how to go about it.
  • Get a math or physics teacher to explain it to you. Mostly, engineering is about math and physics. In fact, you have a better chance of the physics prof explaining things to you than the math teacher.
  • Keep calm and remember that half the time professional engineers don't have a single idea of what they are doing and they make it up as they go along.

So, keep calm and engineer on!

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