Engaging parents with engineers

In November 2017, we ran a zone for the parents, carers and families of students in I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer. We want to help them discover more about engineering careers.

Why we did it

Research and surveys consistently point towards the strong influence of parental attitudes on children’s careers choices and aspirations¹²³⁴. For professions such as engineering, where knowledge of what it’s really like is generally low, parents can fall back on limiting old-fashioned stereotypes of who can become an engineer, often unconsciously biasing their children away from considering the industry. Continue reading

Posted on January 28, 2018 by in Evaluation | Comments Off on Engaging parents with engineers

Reflections on SME funding

As part of our funding agreements in recent years we’ve been trying to diversify our funding streams for I’m an Engineer and I’m a Scientist. Inevitably one suggestion for additional funding has been to approach companies employing engineers and scientists. The obvious first step was to approach those companies known to support STEM engagement. BP, Rolls-Royce, BAe, GSK, Pfizer, Thales etc. It wasn’t simple. Finding the right people at the right time wasn’t simple. Creating a proposition that worked for them wasn’t simple. It was put to us that these companies are constantly being asked to support projects and that we may have more success with SMEs. So we picked a few upcoming zones (Health, Space, Production and Energy) and set a researcher a task of finding 100 SME’s in each field where the CEO had given their contact details on their website. We figured that if they did that … Continue reading

Posted on January 13, 2016 by ModShane in Evaluation | Comments Off on Reflections on SME funding

How does I’m an Engineer affect students understanding of engineering?

We know that I’m an Engineer gets students interested in engineering  and inspired to become engineers themselves.  However, one of the key objectives of the project is to smash engineering stereotypes; that the students learn that engineering is not just about car mechanism, spanners and hard hats. Measuring the students’ change in understanding of engineering has been difficult: closed questions tend not to work when assessing this, as they can be very leading. We decided to ask students to evaluate their own learning. Of course, this has its own limitations, but so far it is the best method we have found. We asked students for their degree of agreement on whether since taking part in I’m an Engineer, they know more about different aspects of being an engineer. Responses from 131 students told us that taking part in I’m an Engineer helps them to improve their understanding of what engineering is and what … Continue reading

Posted on July 28, 2015 by in Evaluation, News | Comments Off on How does I’m an Engineer affect students understanding of engineering?

How does I’m an Engineer affect students’ attitudes to engineering?

We know I’m an Engineer has a positive effect on students. Teachers tell us their classes “got fired up about engineering”, some students “chipped a nail typing to the engineers” and others admit they “didn’t even know that was a job, how cool!!” Anecdotes are fine, but as evaluation geeks we want numbers too. We asked students if they think engineers had an interesting job, and whether they’d like to work as engineers in the future, before and after taking part in I’m an Engineer. We gave them a choice of 5 options – from the very positive to the very negative, with a middle neutral one – to reply. 76 students filled in both the pre-event and post-event surveys. Students have a good perception of engineering, and I’m an Engineer improves it The majority of the students thought engineers had a “very” or “fairly interesting” job, and none of them thought it … Continue reading

Posted on June 29, 2015 by in Evaluation, News | Comments Off on How does I’m an Engineer affect students’ attitudes to engineering?

Evaluating I’m a Engineer

In March 2012 we ran I’m an Engineer for the first time. We’ve had engineers take part in the sister I’m a Scientist event so running a version specifically for engineers was an obvious move. Before the event started we had some unknowns, despite considering ourselves well versed in running online engagement events. Would engineers want to take part? Would we be able to recruit Maths and D&T teachers? What questions would students ask? When it came to evaluation time these were some of the key questions to answer. We’ve collected feedback from teachers, students and engineers. We’ve used their responses and data from the site to evaluate the event, and have written up our findings in the report below. I’m an Engineer evaluation report Here’s a summary of what we found: Did engineers want to take part? Yes. By the end of the first three months we had over … Continue reading

Posted on November 16, 2012 by modemily in Evaluation, News | Comments Off on Evaluating I’m a Engineer