UWE Bristol supports Engineer Leaders Award for South West England

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2018 is the Year of Engineering, a Government-led national campaign to increase awareness among young people, their parents and their teachers of what engineers do. This year, UWE Bristol and DE&S  (the MOD’s Defence, Equipment and Support organisation) are the partner organisations of the Primary Engineer & Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards in the South West of England.

School pupils have met and learnt from engineering students and professionals, before answering the question “If you were an engineer, what would you do?” by identifying a problem in society that engineering could solve and devising a solution.

To launch the competition, back in January DE&S invited school children from the Bristol area to visit their Abbey Wood site and discover some of the kit worked on by its engineers.

Engineering Leaders Award

We welcomed 380 school children on campus this week to find out why engineering is fun and to showcase their own designs for future production as part of the Engineering Leaders Award #ThisisEngineeringMore: http://ow.ly/kxxV30iR24L

Posted by UWE Bristol on Friday, 9 March 2018


Primary school children from Years 4-6 also attended the ‘Children as Engineers’ conference at UWE on 7th March, giving them the opportunity to visit the University’s facilities and take part in science activities. Children had the opportunity to pitch their design ideas to engineering students and receive feedback.

Shortlisted and winning entries from the Primary Engineer & Secondary Engineer Leaders Award submitted by primary and secondary school children were then displayed at an exhibition at the University on 30th June.

Winning designs will now be built by UWE Bristol engineering students from September 2018. They take the concept, develop the design and build it into a full-scale functioning prototype, giving the school children who entered the competition an insight into the process behind designing and manufacturing a product.

As part of its commitment to encouraging school children to think about future attendance at a university as well as raising awareness about science and engineering career paths, UWE Bristol is actively involved with schools in the local area.

Last September it set up a module on its undergraduate and postgraduate Engineering degrees to teach students about public engagement with engineering, and the need to widen the appeal of the profession to girls and boys.

As part of the module, 45 of the University’s engineering undergraduates joined forces with 35 UWE Bristol education students to take engineering challenges into 30 primary school classrooms for a day. The event involved over 900 local primary school children, enabling students and children to work together to challenge children’s preconceptions about engineers and the role they play. It also helped support engineering students in their public engagement skills and enabled trainee teachers to develop their knowledge of science teaching.

Laura Fogg-Rogers, who coordinated the event and is Senior Research Fellow in UWE Bristol’s Science Communication Unit said, “Engineers are highly creative people who can help to solve many of society’s problems. It’s a really collaborative profession, where you have to work together in teams to see your visions and designs come to fruition. The range of roles and careers is really diverse, and that’s what we’d like to emphasise to all young people, particularly girls. You can make your own mark in engineering!”

UWE Bristol has also recently launched Women Like Me, a project which will see senior women engineers mentor junior women engineers, who will in turn undertake engineering outreach in schools. For more information about the project and UWE’s engineering outreach work, please email engineeringourfuture@uwe.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter.

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