Engineers Week 2021 kicks off tomorrow (27 February) and with Covid-19 restrictions still firmly in place, it will be a very different set-up to previous years.
However, the restrictions have not stopped the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme from putting on a range of events to encourage students to explore the world of engineering.
“STEPS Engineers Week offers young people, their families and teachers the opportunity to explore the creative and boundless opportunities a career in STEM can offer,” said Margie McCarthy, head of education and public engagement at Science Foundation Ireland.
“With a large variety of free online workshops, events and career conversations available throughout the week-long celebration of Ireland’s engineering sector, I would encourage parents, teachers and guardians to join in and bring the world of engineering to life at home and at school.”
From virtual family fairs to online workshops, here are some of the events you can check out that are sure to inspire the engineers of the future.
Virtual family fairs
While the family fairs traditionally take place in various locations around Ireland, this year’s festivities will feature spectacular virtual engineering shows and engaging engineering activities by IT Sligo, Foróige’s youth engineering solutions programme and Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme team.
The fairs will take place on 27 and 28 February and will include a range of activities, including live workshops, an interactive engineering quiz, demonstrations and hands-on activities you can do at home, including building a fan-powered car. You can register for family fair events here.
Free online engineering shows
From Monday 1 March to Friday 5 March, the STEPS Engineers Week primary school engineering shows are going online.
There are a number of shows for a variety of ages including a virtual science show, an interactive exploration of bridge-building with Mark the Science Guy, and a virtual engineering show from Scientific Sue. Primary school teachers can book into a screening here.
Meet an engineer
For secondary school and third-level students, the Meet the Engineer event on 5 March will offer attendees an opportunity to hear from engineers working in the energy and environment sector.
Speakers include Pádraig Daly, a senior engineer at Eirgrid, and Máire Lenihan, a chartered civil and environmental engineer with 17 years of engineering and project management experience.
Viewers will be able to watch five episodes of the series, highlighting a variety of STEM professionals, including a mechanical systems engineer and a biomedical engineer.
To mark World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, there will be a free webinar with a panel of speakers on the contribution of engineering to climate action at home and abroad. The event will take place on 4 March and more information is available here.
For younger budding engineers, there will also be free documentaries such as The Story of Water by Irish Water, which includes accompanying worksheets that are perfect for school or at home.
As well as the online events and workshops, there are also a number of resources for parents, teachers and students available here.