Children as Engineers - paired peer mentors in primary schools

This project pairs student engineers and pre-service teachers to undertake engineering design challenges in primary schools.

Only 5% of primary school teachers have a science related degree and yet research shows that children (particularly girls) develop their attitudes towards STEM as a potential career before the age of 11. This project aims to improve teachers’ attitudes to science and engineering leading to a positive impact not only on children’s performance but also on their engagement and enjoyment.

Funded by HEFCE, the project is led by Laura Fogg-Rogers, and is a collaboration between the UWE Bristol Department of Education and Childhood and the Department of Engineering, Design and Mathematics. A new undergraduate module will be developed to provide student engineers opportunities to practice their public engagement skills with pre-service teachers and primary school children.

The project builds on previous research from 2014-2016, which was funded by the Engineering Professors’ Council, Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology and supported by Mazak. The project report can be viewed along with the published journal article from the research.

To support Continuing Professional Development in this area, a new network for STEM outreach in primary schools in the Bristol region is being established, called Curiosity Connections Bristol.