In 2014, we received a People Award to run 8 I’m an Engineer zones featuring biomedical engineers.
Below are the key outcomes we found after evaluating the zones of I’m a (Biomedical) Engineer:
- The zones engaged over 3,100 students across the UK with real people working in biomedical engineering (page 5).
- 40 engineers related to biomedical engineering themes were able to engage with school students (page 6). This included people designing prosthetic limbs, researchers developing regenerative tissue scaffolds, and hospital imaging system administrators.
- The zones facilitated many conversations and discussions around biomedical engineering themes and what it was like to be a biomedical engineer: Students asked the engineers 1,614 questions in ASK (examples on page 9), and popular keywords in live chats included ‘medical’, ‘food’, ‘research’, ‘career’, ‘technology’, ‘heart’, ‘people’, ‘design’, ‘bones’, ‘surgery’, ‘job’, ‘project’ (page 10).
- After taking part, 84% of students said they thought engineers had an interesting job, compared to 71% before (page 13). Students also said they knew more about the types of people who are engineers, more about what engineers actually do, and more about the skills they would need to become engineers (page 14).
- Biomedical engineers enjoyed the challenge, improved their communication skills, said they wanted to do more public engagement, and became more aware of what students thought about engineering (page 12).
“It’s been interesting getting to grips with school pupil levels of understanding about what engineering is and how it’s applied. The questions have been quite testing at times, also in sheer scope.” – Dominic Eggbeer, Surgery Zone
- £2,500 was awarded to 8 winning engineers to fund their own outreach activities and extend the impact of the zones. To date, winners have reported on the use of £1,250 for activities including workshops in schools and laboratories, buying equipment for creating Youtube videos and producing copies of children’s books about engineering (page 7).
- Biomedical engineering zones were popular with teachers and as busy as other engineering zones, despite not fitting the stereotypical view of engineers and engineering.
- Pages in biomedical engineering zones were viewed 140,000 times during the events and 55,000 times by members of the public since June 2014 (page 5).