Charles Lawton’s Oct. 24 column on Maine’s labor situation (“Maine needs to dive into the pool of labor that stopped looking for a job”) reminded me that, in fact, every child begins life as an engineer – a person who uses their ingenuity. They, all on their own, create a method for rolling over in their crib, and for crawling around on their belly. Every Mainer is already an engineer and has the ability to stick with it if they want to.

Our environment is changing every day, from always-new products demanding new work methods (think cellphones and the internet) to ever-higher daily temperatures, demanding new survival methods.

Somehow, we need to teach our kids that they can, and should, continue, each and every day, to work on new ways of doing things. With their ingenuity unbroken, they’ll be able to work effectively any place. Even to start their own company, or help a new company grow faster.

Here in Maine, for the past 17 years, we’ve opened our engineering doors to thousands of little people and not-so-little people so they can come and mess around with meaningful engineering by themselves.

Maine’s Engineers Week celebration (held every February) is flooded with wide-eyed future contributors, and they love it.

These kids won’t stop.

Pete Mickelson