A report just published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is calling for a major rethink in how schools and colleges promote engineering.
“Big Ideas: the future of engineering in schools” proposes that pupils should be taught about the manufactured world and engineering as part of existing lessons. The report recommends maintaining a broad curriculum for students up until the age of 18 and widening routes into the engineering profession by more flexible entry requirements for engineering degree courses.
These finds are based on the “Big Ideas Project” conceived by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers with support from the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Big Ideas suggests 10 long-term goals:
- Promote engineering as a people-focused, problem-solving, socially beneficial discipline.
- Work to enhance the presence of engineering and the ‘made world’ at all stages from primary level upwards.
- Ensure that apprenticeships and other technical pathways not only deliver high quality technicians but also enable individuals to progress to the highest levels of engineering.
- Broaden routes into engineering degree courses by promoting more flexible entry requirements.
- Maintain a broad curriculum for all young people up to the age of 18.
- Shift the emphasis in STEM teaching towards problem-based, contextualised learning.
- Nurture engineering ways of thinking in all young people.
- Create more spaces and opportunities for young people to design and make things particularly by working collaboratively in interdisciplinary groups.
- Use Design and Technology as a platform for integrating STEM and creative design and for raising the profile of engineering in schools.
- Change the structure of schools education to embed engineering explicitly at all levels.