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 modangela in Evaluation, News | Comments Off on How does I’m an Engineer affect students’ attitudes to engineering?

Food Engineers, the Prime Minister, and Women in Engineering

Danielle Epstein was the runner up in this June’s I’m an Engineer Food Zone. During the event, on National Women in Engineering Day she spoke with the Prime Minister about how to get more women into engineering by challenging stereotypes, and using I’m an Engineer as a way to help young people relate to engineers. Danielle wrote about her experience. On Monday 23rd June both the Prime Minister, David Cameron and the Chancellor, George Osborne visited Coca-Cola Enterprises Wakefield facility, Europe’s largest soft drinks production plant. As part of this visit I was given the fantastic opportunity to meet them and speak to them about my first 10 months at CCE on the supply chain graduate scheme. As part of my discussion with them I brought up the fact that it was National Women in Engineering Day and how timely his visit was to raise the profile of this important … Continue reading

Posted on July 9, 2014 by Moderator - Josh in News | Comments Off on Food Engineers, the Prime Minister, and Women in Engineering

What criteria do students judge engineers on?

When students take part in I’m an Engineer they get to vote for their favourite engineer to win £500 to spend on communicating more engineering. It gives them ownership of the project and they decide who gets, in effect, a small grant for public engagement. But what are students’ votes based on? This is how 109 students (or groups of students) have ranked certain criteria from most to least important when considering how to vote for engineers, since January 2012. The results come from a Drag & Drop ranking activity in the first lesson plan “You’re the Judges” that teachers run to introduce their students to I’m an Engineer. The top ranked criteria are linked to society, with engineering being used for good: saving lives, safety & reducing environmental impact. There are also insights into how students might perceive engineers and engineering companies. Reassuringly, the more superficial criteria lurk at the bottom of … Continue reading

Posted on July 2, 2014 by in News | Comments Off on What criteria do students judge engineers on?

Engineer case study: Nicola Lazenby

The application for an Ingenious Award (funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering) asks for an example case study of an engineer’s public engagement journey after taking part in the project. Since I’m an Engineer started in 2012 we’ve had 40 engineers take part, many at different stages of their public engagement journey. Here’s Nicola Lazenby’s case study from our application: Nicola is a PhD student looking at how foundations can be used to produce renewable heat and energy from the ground. She won the Environment Zone in March 2013. Before taking part in I’m an Engineer she already had an interest in outreach, being involved with Engineers without Borders, a Student Ambassador at University and working with young people summer schools and taster days. She “wasn’t new to engagement, but not exactly an experienced professional”. Taking part in I’m an Engineer changed the way Nicola communicates. She now thinks a … Continue reading

Posted on May 8, 2014 by in News | Comments Off on Engineer case study: Nicola Lazenby

Ingenious evaluation surgery

On Monday, Rosie and I went to an evaluation surgery organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAENG) in Bristol. It was an afternoon workshop lead by Ben Gammon, which purpose was to help us evaluate projects awarded with Ingenious Grants, by completing an evaluation plan. Ben shared with us his 5 key points in evaluation: What do you need to find out? Is data going to be useful? Will it actually help you to change something? Consider the time and money that doing getting that data would take Choose an effective method to gather the data How are you going to disseminate the data? He also gave us very great advice on does and don’ts when designing a survey. As we are survey fanatics we took great attention to these. Here are some of them: Always avoid “and” in any survey questions, as you would be asking two different … Continue reading

Posted on May 1, 2014 by modangela in News | Comments Off on Ingenious evaluation surgery

Environment Zone summary

Our self-funded March event went superbly. Nearly 400 students took part. Have a quick read through the daily updates below  for a flavour of the event and the Zone Report gives more depth. You can see the feedback that shows just how much the students and engineers get out of the event. As student ‘jessica123’ said about the 5 engineers “thank you sooo much for your time I have learnt a lot your are very nice people”   Daily updates Day 1 – Football, Grand Designs and the Olympics Day 2 – 3D printing, heat pumps and bridges Day 3 – Helicopters, straw huts and coal mines Day 4 – Sustainability in sport, Saudi Arabian cities and bamboo houses Day 5 – Global warming, Scottish independence and rocket science Day 6 – Carrot-powered cars, model rockets and transparent soil Day 7 – First eviction! Day 8 – Robots, red matter and petrol-powered … Continue reading

Posted on April 8, 2013 by modemily in News | Comments Off on Environment Zone summary

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

Putting the E Word into Engagement

A thought as I leave: there’s more difference between PR and PE than between science and engineering #eword — Steve Cross (@steve_x) October 25, 2012 The Royal Academy of Engineering hosted a day on October 25th about Engineering (the E word) Engagement. It was a very interesting day which left me with many challenges and thoughts. Just what you want from a seminar. The programme for the day consisted of two panel sessions in the morning, followed by an open session. After that we were treated to a series of 5 minutes briefings on past Ingenious projects and Mark Miodownik’s History of Engineering. I’m going to focus on the first three sessions: Is engineering engagement different from science engagement? Where are all the engineers? Open session: How do we tell what good engagement is? Is engineering engagement different from science engagement? There was a lot of crossover between the first … Continue reading

Posted on November 2, 2012 by modemily in News, Project News | Comments Off on Putting the E Word into Engagement

How do we visualise Engineering?

Hi I’m Gareth. I’ve designed the ‘I’m a Scientist’ and the ‘I’m an Engineer’ (so far) websites. On ‘I’m an Engineer’ we’ve got the basic design and colour ways in place but what we’re missing is the icons and graphics that make the site seem much more relevant to engineering. I’m a designer not an engineer so I’m looking for some suggestions from the engineering community about what things sum up or represent engineering to you. With I’m a Scientist we choose a conical flask and Van der Graaf generator symbols amongst others. Each zone also has a logo and you can see the most recent ones on the I’m a Scientist home page. What are the equivalents for engineering? Please don’t send designs I’m just looking to pick your brains and gather your comments on what sums up engineering for you. If you can help please leave a comment … Continue reading

Posted on November 29, 2011 by modemily in News, Project News | Comments Off on How do we visualise Engineering?

I’m an Engineer – The Plan

We can only run these events through co-operation with the Teaching and Engineering communities. That’s why we want to share our plan of action in the run up to the first set of events in March 2012. The plan is not comprehensive so please ask any questions in the comments section and we’ll try to answer them in future news posts. The action plan breaks down into five main sections: Planning, Recruitment, Event, Evaluation, Sustainability. Planning – October/November 1. Zone Selection The first thing we need to do is define the event. We will be running six zones in March. All will be themed. That means the engineers in those zones will need to have some connection to the theme. For example in the Transport Zone we could have engineers building oil pipelines, marine engineers in shipbuilding, or software engineers working on flight systems. It’s fairly general. A nuclear power … Continue reading

Posted on October 6, 2011 by modemily in News, Project News | Comments Off on I’m an Engineer – The Plan