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 aimed 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 was led by Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, and was a collaboration between UWE Bristol's Department of Education and Childhood (now School of Education of Childhood) and Department of Engineering, Design and Mathematics (now School of Engineering). A new undergraduate module was developed to provide student engineers opportunities to practice their public engagement skills with pre-service teachers and primary school children.
The project built 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 was established called Curiosity Connections Bristol.