Top tips for inspiring young people to choose engineering as a career

Apr 29, 2019

Getting the message across - Top tips for delivering engineering activities

EngineeringUK has released a new free guide to help STEM professionals and ambassadors to deliver exciting and varied activities to help encourage young people to consider engineering as a career choice.

'Getting the message across' is a top tips guide for anyone who provides engineering outreach activities in schools. It encourages STEM professionals and ambassadors to plan inspiring and impactful activities by providing real-world examples of engineering matched to what students might be learning in the classroom.

Engineering cuts across all life from addressing some of society’s pressing challenges like climate change to building and designing new technology like mobile phones or apps for improving health and wellbeing.

The guide suggests that making links between the skills involved in the subjects young people study – such as maths, science, D&T, computing, geography, art and languages – and exciting job roles in engineering can really help students realise the value of these subjects for the future and switch them on to the idea of a career in engineering.

The guide, created with the support of the Tomorrow’s Engineers Careers Working Group, helps those delivering outreach activities reinforce what makes an impactful talk or activity such as what factors motivate students when thinking about a career. For example, research for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week suggests 90% of young people dream of a career that tackles social issues, so including examples of how engineers use their skills to solve issues like creating renewable energy, developing new cure for diseases or tackling homelessness might be of interest.

While the guide encourages the person leading the activity to be authentic and build outreach activities using their personal experience, it also reminds them that there isn’t just one route into becoming an engineer. It prompts them to be inclusive in their approach by encouraging everyone from different backgrounds to participate and involving students who might have additional needs in the outreach activity.

‘Getting the message across’ includes real-life examples from global engineering firms Siemens and Atkins. ‘SeeWomen’ from Siemens highlights a project to improve the visibility of female role models in STEM with a view to improving gender disparity in engineering. The YES! Programme at Atkins is a work experience scheme for year 8 students and is run with gender parity in mind and encourages schools to approve applications with 50/50 gender split.

The top tips guide for STEM professionals and ambassadors is the latest free resource from EngineeringUK – you can download it here.

Other guides include a work experience guide for companies to plan a successful work experience or placement for students who are interested in getting a closer look at what engineers do on a day-to-day basis.

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