80% of Engineering Your Future week participants more likely to opt for engineering at third level
14 July 2015
A survey carried out among Transition Year students who recently completed Engineers Ireland’s Engineering Your Future (EYF) programme has revealed that four out of five participants were more likely to consider engineering as a career or college choice having successfully completed the five-day project.
Seven colleges around the country hosted 270 Transition Year students in May, an increase of almost 10 per cent (251 students) on the previous year – and more than a third (35 per cent) of participants were female.
Engineering Your Future is a week-long, hands-on programme for Transition Year students who have an interest in science and maths; it is designed to introduce them to the exciting and diverse world of engineering.
It provides students with a meaningful experience of engineering through hands-on workshops, project work, and industry visits. The aim is to give students the knowledge and experience they need to make an informed choice about whether STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) is a desirable career path for them. The students who take part in the programme will be tracked over the coming years to see if they pursue a STEM career or go in a different direction.
Key findings from the Engineering Your Future 2015 survey:
- A total of 35 per cent of students who took part were female;
- Asked to rate their understanding of engineering on a scale of one through 10 before attending EYF 2015, 66 per cent of students gave themselves a score of six or lower;
- Asked to rate their understanding of engineering on a scale of one through 10 after attending EYF 2015, 70 per cent of students gave themselves a score of eight or higher;
- 80 per cent of students said their participation in EYF 2015 made them more likely to consider engineering as a career or college choice;
- 82 per cent agreed that the programme met or exceeded their expectations;
- 97 per cent said they would recommend the programme to a friend.
Some of the comments from respondents to an Engineers Ireland survey for those students who completed the course included:
- “Definitely the most rewarding and useful aspect of the programme was that finally I had a clear understanding of engineering. I have always been confused about what exactly engineering is because it is so diverse but, after the programme, I had all my questions answered and now I am fully aware and understanding of engineering.”
- “It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about technology, medicine, design and many other aspects of engineering in a comfortable, friendly environment and you get to make new friends and meet interesting people.”
- “I felt, in my opinion, the most enjoyable element of the week was the friendships I made. We all got on extremely well and had a lot of fun together while at the same time learning and exploring the world of engineering. Also, the activities we undertook were very useful, all of my queries that I ever had about engineering were answered. I now have a wide understanding of what engineering entails and now I am more intrigued about it and am greatly considering undertaking it as a career.”
- “Building the robots because it combined different elements of engineering and design. We had to think but it was still fun. I think I will use what I learnt again.”
- “The practical work/challenges encouraged me to think outside the box, and the competitive nature of the challenges encouraged every group to try their best and to use the full extent of their engineering knowledge. The challenges provided me with a fun and unique learning experience that I wouldn’t have had the chance to avail of in school. In my opinion, the challenges were the most enjoyable element of the week.”
- “This programme allowed me and all the other participants to open our eyes to various parts of engineering. It made me more likely to attend an engineering course at third level as it was mostly practical work which allowed me to experience a small bit of what engineers do on a day-to-day basis.”
In 2012, Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme partnered with University College Dublin (UCD) to deliver a pilot placement week aimed at giving an insight into what is involved in engineering at college and in the workplace. The programme was expanded in 2013, and the seven third-level institutes which hosted Engineering Your Future week 2015 included: Cork IT; DIT; IT Carlow; IT Tallaght; UCD; Waterford IT; and University of Limerick.
Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme co-ordinated the week and provided support to the third-level institutes under the Smart Futures banner. Smart Futures is a collaborative government-industry-education programme promoting STEM careers to post-primary students in Ireland. It is managed by SFI’s Discover programme in partnership with Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2015/07/14/revealed-80-participants-engineering-future-programme-likely-opt-third-level/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Step-21.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Step-21-300x300.jpgNewseducation,SFI,STEM,STEPS