STEM Matters: Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2018: The Big Assembly…

Author : Mark Gradwell, Consultant Editor

08 October 2018

Mark Gradwell, Consultant Editor of EPDT

Returning for the sixth year, Tomorrow’s Engineers Week will take place from the 5th to the 9th November 2018 – and aims to change perceptions of engineering among young people, their parents and teachers, to inspire future engineers...

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This year, the campaign forms part of the Year of Engineering (which I also talk about in our October issue’s editorial column) – and engineers featured will focus on topics young people care about, including saving the environment, animal welfare, staying safe, health and entertainment.

The Tomorrow’s Engineers (#TEWeek18) programme is led by the engineering community and aims to provide a platform for employers to grow the STEM talent pipeline as part of a collective drive. Delivering national impact through local coordination, Tomorrow’s Engineers has directly reached over 300,000 young people in the past year – and its vision is to create a national network of employers working locally to reach 1m young people every year with effective careers interventions from STEM employers.

The campaign was born out of the ongoing STEM skills gap and the recognition that we need more engineers. For that, we need more young people to understand how STEM skills they learn at school translate and are used in the real world. Giving young people the chance to talk directly to engineers, and engage in hands-on activities that showcase and contextualise engineering, is at the heart of the Tomorrow’s Engineers approach. It sees industry professionals bring alive classroom science and maths – and showcase engineering careers.

The event comprises targeted outreach by engineering employers, engagements at regional events and an industry-funded programme of interventions, all underpinned by high quality careers resources.

The campaign's centrepiece is Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which runs from the 5th to 9th November 2018 – and aims to change perceptions of engineering among young people, their parents and teachers, to inspire future engineers. This year, plans include the first Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly, offering schools right across the UK the chance to take part in the same assembly at the same time – a UK-wide assembly set to showcase #EngineersOnAMission to make the world a better place.

It aims to help young people find out how engineering impacts on the issues they care about, and to take their ideas, passions and dreams, and turn them into engineering careers – with inspiring stories of engineers working for high profile charities, companies and causes.

Nine in ten young people dream of a career that tackles social issues, according to data from Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, and plans for #TEWeek18 provide fresh impetus to the drive to encourage more young people to consider a career in engineering. Taking place at 10.30am on the 7th November 2018, the live video stream will feature a panel of inspiring engineers who will discuss their careers – and the positive impact engineering has on the issues young people care about most, such as protecting the environment, animal welfare, safety and security, health and entertainment.

Thousands of students are expected to take part and will be able to ask questions to the panel, which will also feature careers experts, live via social media. The Big Assembly will be in panel discussion format, with host Fayon Dixon asking a series of questions about their lives and the way they help make the world a better place. Experts on careers will also be on hand to answer any questions about how to become an engineer. The Big Assembly gives young people the chance to hear directly from engineering professionals about their work, their inspiration and route into the industry.

The event will also feature short inspiring films. The Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly is sponsored by BCS, ICE, IET, IMechE and the Year of Engineering, and is supported by other professional institutions. It will also be available on demand after the live broadcast has finished.

Schools can find out more and register at www.bigassembly.org.


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