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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 should teachers discuss engineering with primary pupils?
Historically, a lot of the focus of engineering campaigns has been on older secondary students, but the primary years are so vital. It’s in these years that children form their perceptions of subjects and careers and can start closing them down due to misconceived stereotypes.
In the case of engineering, it’s surprising how many children still believe being an engineer is ‘just for men’ or only about building bridges, trains and cars.
What is the Year of Engineering?
The Year of Engineering is an exciting opportunity for organisations and influencers from the world of engineering – an incredibly diverse and exciting sector – to work with teachers and parents to challenge stereotypes before they become entrenched.
Together we can open children’s eyes to just how important, inspiring and surprising the world of engineering is.
What activities are running over the summer?
The six-week holiday is a long stretch for parents to fill so Year of Engineering has created Holiday Makers, a vibrant programme of free STEAM events happening across the country.
There’s also a wealth of simple activities that can be done on the beach, in the park, at home or even in the car. A downloadable journal enables families to keep a log of their journey as they complete weekly challenges, with a chance to win fantastic prizes.
Who is involved?
The wide range of 1,400+ organisations involved help showcase just how diverse the world of engineering is. We’ve got everyone, including Google, the BBC, Kids Invent Stuff and the Science Museum.
These organisations are running workshops or setting weekly challenges with cool prizes up for grabs.
What makes the programme appealing to children?
The whole purpose of Year of Engineering is to showcase just how accessible and diverse the world of engineering is. Holiday Makers brings alive the role engineering has in everything, from the sports shoes that children and their heroes wear to the spaceship Tim Peake travelled in.
The breadth of activities available means there is something for everyone – even parents who might feel out of their comfort zone doing ‘engineering’ activities.
Why should schools encourage families to get involved?
The summer holiday is a six-week window that can be tough and expensive to fill, but it also offers an amazing opportunity to fill children’s imaginations with the endless possibilities that STEAM subjects and careers offer.
It’s a chance to get children fired up for the new school year ahead, keep their brains sharp, and inspire the potential problem solvers, inventors and innovators of tomorrow.
How can teachers encourage parents to try the activities?
It couldn’t be simpler. Teachers can run a fun, bitesized activity in the classroom as the first ‘challenge’ for students to complete before they take on the remainder of the tasks at home over the summer. We’ve also provided a digital toolkit to help schools talk about Holiday Makers on their website and in newsletters.
To find out more visit yearofengineering.gov.uk/theholidaymakers.
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