All across Great Britain, from the Highlands of Scotland to the South Downs of England, Primary and Secondary school pupils are asking themselves: If you were an Engineer, what would you do?
And the answers they have come up with so far have been remarkable.
Taking part in the Primary Engineer or Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards encourages pupils to look at their world, identify problems and use their imaginations to engineer creative solutions.
The problems they identify and solve do not need to be world changing events like, for example, the Vitamin D deficiency issues that many across the country suffer from… but one of our pupils considered this problem and devised a series of satellites, each equipped with a huge mirror, that reflected sunlight directly onto Britain.
And not only that… one pupil was concerned that her younger sister had difficulty taking medicine via a spoon or in a tablet so, after researching chemical engineering and interviewing an engineer, she devised the ‘Calpol™ Lolly’ that would satisfy both the medical needs of her sister and be a bit of a treat!
For the past four years, thousands of Scottish children between the ages of 5 and 19 years of age have been inspired by, participated in and enjoyed this remarkable STEM programme. Last year, hundreds of pupils from the North East and London engaged with engineers and, also, benefitted from, and loved, this award.
Now, for the 2016-2017 academic year, in addition to the programme, once again, being held in Scotland, the North East and London, school children in Greater Manchester, the South of England and in our home town of Burnley can now devise solutions to issues they perceive as problematic; they, too, can illustrate their inventions which, potentially, could earn them a year-group trophy or could see their work displayed at a public exhibition, or both. One of their innovative designs might even end up being built by engineering students, just like the ‘Trolley for the Elderly’, the brainchild of Aidan McCann who noticed that his Gran had trouble with standard supermarket shopping carts. Aidan’s invention was brought to life by the Proto Team, a group of post-graduate students from the University of Strathclyde and revealed to the world at the Grand Award Ceremony held at the Barony Hall in Glasgow in June.
We can only offer these free STEM programmes to school pupils across the country because of our partnerships with organisations that are committed to inspiring children to investigate the world of engineering. North of the border we work closely with Scottish Engineering and the University of Strathclyde whilst, in the North East, the Reece Foundation are our partners. The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Manchester City Council are right behind us in their region whilst in London and the South of England, we are working closely with UCL and the University of Southampton, respectively, and, in Burnley, our partners are Burnley Borough Council and AMS Neve. Plus, in all of the regions, we are supported by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
But, of course, we could not possibly run these Leaders Awards or any other Primary Engineer programmes without the fantastic support we get from our volunteer engineers – from whatever professional body.
For all of those engineers – if you would like to help out a school in your area to complete the Primary Engineer or Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or follow this link to register with us.
If you are a teacher in a school in Scotland, the North East, London, Greater Manchester, the South of England or Burnley and would like to join us in this wonderfully exciting competition, email us at email@example.com for more information or follow this link to the Leaders Award website, find your region and sign-up today.