2023: empowering activities for schools

Dec 15, 2023

By Jenny Karlsson, Senior Marketing Communications Manager at EngineeringUK

We're proud to be at the forefront of inspiring young people from all backgrounds towards careers in engineering and technology. In our second blog reflecting on 2023, here's a round-up of our schools-facing highlights as we strive to increase the reach and impact of our work for young people.

Activities for schools

One of the key strands of EngineeringUK’s new strategy is to expand our own activities for schools -with the aim of encouraging more, and more diverse, young people into engineering and tech roles.

Tomorrow's Engineers Week 2023 saw more than 51,000 young people take part in a huge range of interactive events and activities. This nationwide annual campaign ignites students' passion for engineering and technology, showcasing their potential and importance in our rapidly evolving world. The Week provided insights into the thrilling possibilities within the fields of engineering and tech.

A notable addition to EngineeringUK's arsenal is the Climate Schools Programme, launched in November. This pilot is designed to educate and inspire the younger generation to address climate change through engineering and/or technology solutions. More than 150 schools have already signed up to take part in the pilot, highlighting the eagerness to integrate more climate related activities into the curriculum.

The Big Bang Fair 2023 continues to attract thousands of visitors. One student summed up their experience perfectly, saying, "This event made me feel joy I cannot explain", a testament to the impact of EngineeringUK bringing real-world engineering and technology experiences to life. The Fair demonstrates the growing interest and engagement among students and shows the success in connecting students with potential career paths. The Big Bang Fair is supported by more than 50 incredible employers.

The Big Bang Competition is the UK’s top STEM competition and we once again invited students to get creative and showcase their innovative STEM projects. The UK Young Engineer of the Year 2023, Ranita Ariyibi, developed an electronic device that interprets British Sign Language and English. She presented her winning invention to an audience of MPs, peers and business leaders at The Big Bang at Parliament, alongside other inspiring competitors. We’re also delighted to have secured media coverage for our winners and finalists, including broadcast interviews on regional BBC TV and radio and Steph's Packed Lunch on Channel 4. Entries are now open for 2024

The Big Bang at School continues to captivate students' imaginations, with 422 schools applying to participate and bring the magic of the Big Bang to their own school.


Leading on careers inspiration

Another aim of our new strategy is to lead efforts to grow the collective impact of all engineering and technology inspiration and careers activities with young people of school age.

As part of this, we’re expanding our career-focused initiatives. The Careers Working Group welcomed two new organisations and created more careers resources. These resources, available on Neon, are invaluable in guiding students towards careers in engineering and technology.

Neon is EngineeringUK's website for teachers, helping them introduce their students to future STEM careers, raise their aspirations and explore the excitement of engineering and technology through brilliant activities, inspiring case studies and supportive resources. More than 5,000 teachers and careers leaders are registered on the site and in 2023 we launched a collection of new, tailored content – from information on working with local employers to advice on getting funding for STEM outreach, CPD and much more.  

The ‘From Idea to Career booklet for students was updated with input from the Professional Engineering Institutions community. Their commitment to working with us highlights the collaborative spirit within the engineering community to support future engineers.

Although we use our expertise to focus on work for 11 to 14 year olds, our efforts aren't limited to secondary education. This year we ventured into primary schools with a new classroom poster to help Key Stage 2 students reflect on how those working in engineering and tech are shaping our future homes. This early exposure to engineering concepts is pivotal in nurturing future engineering and tech professionals.

Environmental sustainability is a key focus in our new strategy. We’ve produced green postcards for schools that demonstrate how engineers are utilising technology to help society achieve a more sustainable future.

The feedback from educators has been overwhelmingly positive, with an assistant head teacher expressing gratitude, stating, "Thank you for your work in bringing the best resources to the attention of busy teachers who care about the life outcomes of their students but don't have the time to research how to make their ideas realities."


Research and evidence in the education space

EngineeringUK’s research and evaluations have yielded valuable insights on STEM education. Sharing our briefings, including our 'From A levels to engineering' and 2023 exam results reports, has raised awareness of the uptake, attainment and diversity gap in STEM subjects.

We've also developed resources for the wider sector, such as calculating the reach and effectiveness of STEM engagement activities and conducting rapid evidence reviews focused on STEM outreach, including girls' engineering and tech career aspirations. These evaluations help ensure engineering and technology engagement activities are inclusive and inspire the next generation.

We’re looking forward to another action-packed year of inspiring the next generation in 2024.  

Find out more about EngineeringUK’s activities for schools and 5-year strategy


< Back to Blog