Much as been heard in recent years about national education policy, with an emphasis on encouraging more science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — students. As far as engineering goes, the trail was broken on this date in 1824 with the founding of the Rensselaer School in Troy, New York. Now known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, it was the nation’s first engineering school. Its first 10 students graduated with engineering degrees in 1826. In the years since, engineering has come to be applied to many fields beyond physical structures, such as in chemistry and computer science. Engineering is a powerful force in our economy. There are nearly 58,000 engineering service firms in the nation, employing over 1,000,000 people. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.