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A shortage of skilled labour in science and engineering is halting economic growth in Europe according to Business Europe, which represents more than 20 million companies in 35 countries.
The European project ENGINEER is addressing the shortfall in expertise by introducing 1,000 teachers and 27,000 students from primary schools across Europe to the problem solving principles of engineering. Twenty-six institutions from twelve countries have committed to this challenging initiative of inspiring children to choose engineering for learning and fun.
Our ambitious goal is to introduce engineering into primary school and museum programmes throughout Europe and inspire the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers.
The numbers tell the story
Growing demand: Society is led by technology and engineers are crucial to moving technology forward. Technicians and engineers will be Europe’s most employed group by 2020 with 18.1 per cent of total employment. Low output: Only 12 per cent of all university and college graduates in Europe major in engineering – a figure that dropped by two per cent since 2000. An ageing population: By 2020, more of Europe’s population will be over 65 compared to 2010 and most of these people will no longer be in the labour force. Increases in the working population will be concentrated on those over age 45 who will account for 42 per cent of the labour force in 2020, compared to 39 per cent in 2010. Gender imbalance: only one in six engineers is female.
How does ENGINEER work?
Ten engineering challenges have been developed by science museum specialists and school teachers in ten different disciplines. Students follow a five-step design process using engineering principles to solve simple problems such as building a glider to carry messages between friends or constructing a system to water plants.They start with investigating the problem and looking at the science needed to solve it. Then applying this knowledge, they design and create solutions to an engineering problem. Engineering challenges as well as teacher guides are available to download for free from the ENGINEER website.
Target: 9-12 years old
- Huff and puff: Designing a device for measuring exhalation volume
- A fine balance: Building a hanging sculpture
- Knee deep: Designing and constructing a water pond
- High and dry: Protecting objects on a floating platform
- Music to the ears: Designing and creating a sound generator
- Suck it up: Designing a contraption that sucks up debris
- Life support: Direct water flow to plants
- Frisky feet: Winter-proof a pair of shoes
- Popular mechanics: Becoming a designer of machines
- High flyers: Building a glider with everyday materials
> You can download Engineer brochure