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Ruth Amos, Year of Engineering Ambassador and Founder of Kids Invent Stuff discusses The Holiday Makers – a six-week series of exciting STEAM events and activities for the summer break.
Why do we need a Year of Engineering?
I’m living proof of just how important the Year of Engineering is. At the age of 15 I’d written off STEAM subjects and had never even considered a career in engineering – I’d chosen my options and wanted to be a lawyer.
But an inspiring Design Tech teacher set me a project to create something that would make life easier for his father who had just had a stroke. That was the spark that changed the course of my life.
I realised I wanted to use my skills to change people’s lives for the better and never looked back.
The Year of Engineering is an exciting opportunity for organisations, teachers and parents to come together and provide a wealth of magical moments that challenge stereotypes, break down barriers and open young people’s eyes to just how important, inspiring and surprising the world of engineering is.
What kinds of activities will be running over the summer?
We know that the six week Summer is a long stretch for parents to fill, so the Year of Engineering has created Holiday Makers – a vibrant programme of free STEAM events happening across the country that help get young people out and about, off their screens and absorbed in exciting new worlds.
Who is involved?
The wide range of 1,400+ organisations involved help showcase just how diverse the world of engineering can be. We’ve got everyone from Google, the BBC, the RAF and the Science Museum running exciting interactive workshops or setting weekly challenges with cool prizes up for grabs.
What if young people have already ruled out engineering as a future career?
The whole purpose of the Year of Engineering is to showcase just how accessible, exciting and diverse the world of engineering is.
Holiday Makers events will bring alive the role engineering has in everything from the sports shoes they and their sporting heroes wear to the spaceship Tim Peake travelled in.
The depth and breadth of activities available, together with their often surprising content means there really will be something for everyone.
Should schools be encouraging young people and their families to participate?
Absolutely! The Summer holiday is a six-week window that can be tough and expensive to fill. But it also offers an amazing opportunity to feed young people’s imaginations with the endless possibilities that STEAM subjects and opportunities a career in engineering can open up.
Who knows? This Summer could be the moment when some young people who have written off STEAM subjects or engineering as a career experience the same kind of light bulb moment I had and are inspired to investigate a new, unexpected career pathway that gets them fired up every day.
How can teachers encourage young people and their parents to get involved?
It couldn’t be simpler. Teachers can run a fun, bite-sized activity in the classroom as the first ‘challenge’ for students to complete before they take on the remainder of the challenges at home over the summer.
We’ve also provided a digital toolkit to help schools talk about The Holiday Makers on their website and in newsletters.
For more information go to yearofengineering.gov.uk/theholidaymakers to get started and help promote the Holiday Makers programme to parents.
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