The faculty will work with the non-profit organisation to run the programme for the first time in London, bringing the world of work into the Capital’s schools through local engineers. It forms part of a wider programme to change attitudes to careers in engineering and other STEM professions through inspiring children at an early age, transforming the teaching of STEM, and building relationships between schools and industry.
The Special Leaders Award is a fun and rewarding way to pique young people’s interest in engineering through researching local engineering achievements, meeting and interviewing engineers from a broad range of fields, and then letting imaginations run free to design inventions that could change London, or, perhaps transform the entire world.
This is a wonderful opportunity for pupils to engage with real engineers – for many this will be a first – and to understand the huge impact they have on the world around us and the way in which we live. Pupils are encouraged to discover the motivation, inspiration and career paths of these engineering professionals, learn about the extremely wide variety of interesting jobs they do, and the importance of STEM subjects in their daily working lives. Schools are helped to develop relationships with industry, both local and worldwide, giving pupils a greater understanding of the breadth of opportunities within engineering.
By engaging with children at an early age, this project aims to introduce STEM subjects and engineering as attractive options to pursue before attitudes are set. This approach was supported by a recent report from the Confederation of British Industry, ‘Tomorrow’s World’. Early engagement also encourages a more diverse group of future engineers and helps break down the gender, racial and socio-economic stereotypes that persist.
Susan Scurlock, CEO of Primary Engineer and the London Special Leaders Award Programme, said:
“We are delighted to be working with UCL to give pupils in London’s primary schools the opportunity to meet practising engineers and learn about the incredible range of things they do and the difference they make to the world and how we live. We want to motivate as many children from a broad range of backgrounds to view engineering as a real and attractive option as they grow up.
Dr Elpida Makrygiannis, Education Co-ordinator for UCL Engineering, said:
“We are excited to be partnering with Primary Engineer to bring this exciting challenge to schools in London for the first time. We know that stereotypical views of careers or subject choices mean not enough children pursue STEM subjects. This unique competition is a wonderful way to inspire children’s interest at an early age and to pave the way for the next generation of engineers who will change the world.”