After two fun-filled weeks chatting with, hopefully, the next generation of engineers, I am sad it’s over. I am definitely going to miss the endless, inquisitive and smart questions that I constantly received during that period.
I had signed up for this event ages ago and when I received an email from the organisers, I had completely forgotten about it! This programme was a great opportunity for me to understand how the kids thought and the ways their minds worked. Some of the questions felt like I was interviewing for a job! That was due to the incredible calibre of students we have these days.
Being competitive, I really wanted to make sure I gave my best to the students in order to win but it still didn’t take anything away from the amazing engineers I competed alongside. A big thank you to Vix, Clare, Josh, Rhys and Andrew, for the tough competition – their combined experience and skills were impressive. I noticed all their honesty and amazing feats throughout the competition and how captivated the students were. I wish you all the best and many more successful years as engineers.
Knowing that the students voted for me has been really humbling and has spurred me on even harder to encourage children to get into engineering. This programme was well organised and structured. I would recommend that all engineers should at least participate once a year. It gives real insight into students and their ambitions. I noticed a lot of girls asked about how it was to be a female engineer. Having more female engineers participating in this event would change girls’ mind-sets and encourage them to choose engineering.
Another massive thank you to the organisers, especially the moderators, who kept the chats flowing and answered our technical queries with great efficiency. The concept of the event is impressive as we could meet a larger number of students in two weeks than we would have if we had physically visited. The use of technology is encouraging and a great concept we can take back into our engineering organisations. Thanks to the moderators also, each student was answered in a chat session which was impressive to regulate.
Sometimes in the daily bustle of life, I forget why I chose engineering and what my career means to me. This past two weeks reinvigorated my love for STEM. I am grateful for this opportunity. I will be using the prize money to raise more awareness of the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) Making Engineering Hot Programme. This programme will raise the aspirations of young people from underrepresented and less advantaged backgrounds, helping them to consider STEM opportunities within their communities and the wider world.
Last but not least, thank you to the schools, teachers and students for taking part. My brother shared a quote that deeply resonated with me. “The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are, but how happy others can be because of you.” I hope we can continue to inspire the next generation together through impressive concepts such as this.
Engineers! If you’d like the chance to win funding for your own STEM outreach, apply for the next I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here: imanengineer.org.uk/engineer-apply