STEPS Engineers Week kicking off in Limerick this weekend

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NO FEE PIC PIC JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY Engineering the Ireland of tomorrow – siblings Connor Hobbs (age 9) and Eleanor Hobbs (age 7) test their creations at STEPS Engineers Week in 2019. Now its 14th year, STEPS Engineers Week is a campaign held annually to promote engineering as a career and the importance of the profession to Ireland. Taking place from Saturday, 29 February – Friday, 6 March, the initiative is coordinated by Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme - funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills and industry leaders ARUP, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

STEPS Engineers Week, the annual campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers and excite students about the possibilities a career in engineering can offer, will take place across Limerick from Saturday, 29 February.

Now its 14th year, STEPS Engineers Week is a campaign held annually to promote engineering as a career and the importance of the profession to Ireland.  The initiative is coordinated by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills and industry leaders ARUP, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

From Saturday, 29 February, engineers from all over Ireland will engage with their communities to showcase their profession to primary and secondary students in their locality, highlighting the amazing ways Irish engineers are pushing the limits of ingenuity, creativity and innovation.

In Limerick, Engineers Week participation from engineering organisations, third-level institutions and among outreach organisations is incredibly strong with over 35 activities and events occurring around the county.

Limerick based engineering organisations 4site, H&MV Engineering, Irish Cement, ESB, Johnson and Johnson Visioncare and Roadbridge will each be participating in activities throughout STEPS Engineers Week and will be engaging local students through site tours, workshops and school visits.

On Thursday, 5 March, Limerick for Engineering, a consortium of engineering companies and education providers, will present an interactive showcase at Shannon Airport – one of the largest events planned for STEPS Engineers Week 2020.

The free event, now in its fifth year, will offer students and their parents the opportunity to participate in autonomous vehicle demonstrations, bridge building, robotics, aviation design, welding and medical device design. Engineers and apprentices will be on hand to demonstrate the new technologies, advise on career options and enable interactive, hands on participation on engineering projects.

Keith Greville, Associate Director at ARUP commented: “Engineering is an exciting career, providing opportunities to travel internationally, rewarding employment, continuous development and a chance to make a difference in the world.

“As a Civil Engineer myself I have had the opportunity to travel the world and work on some major engineering projects and I am delighted to get involved with the #LimerickforEngineering objective of attracting more young boys and girls into this wide and varied profession.

“This year’s event should be particularly interesting with the introduction of Engineering Demonstration PODs to allow students get a real feel for the world of engineering. There should be something for everyone as the PODs will cover Autonomous Vehicles, Robotics, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Aeronautical & Mechanical Engineering and Medical Devices.” he added.

Commenting in advance of Engineers Week, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said:  “STEPS Engineers Week, in this its 14th year, is reaching out to all facets of industry to showcase the dynamic world of contemporary engineering and to demonstrate to young people that engineering is a diverse career which is both satisfying and far-reaching.

“Engineers are critical to our environment, to our economy and improve the way we live and work. Engineering affects all aspects of life, from tangible works such as the roads we travel on, to bridges and flood defences, to developing life-changing heart stents and prostheses, as well as advancing the invisible technologies that are all around us.

“We are delighted to see so many engineering organisations, libraries, schools and third level institutes getting involved and showcasing the engineering profession to primary and secondary school students nationwide and inspiring today’s children to engineer the Ireland of tomorrow.” she added.

Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland believes in the ability of science, technology, engineering and maths to effect positive change in the world.

“STEPS Engineers Week 2020 offers an opportunity to encourage and inspire young people and help guide their subject and career choices to increase their knowledge and understanding of the world of engineering, and we are delighted to support the week in partnership with the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme.”

During STEPS Engineers Week, Irish Girl Guides and Brownies are also encouraged to work towards gaining the Guide Engineering Badge or Brownie Engineering Badge with their Unit and devise an innovative project that could be commercially produced.

Each entry submitted before the 31 March deadline will be judged by the Engineers Ireland STEPS Dragons, with the winners crowned ‘Ireland’s Top Guide Engineers’ or ‘Ireland’s Top Brownie Engineers’.

As well as events organised by companies, third-level institutions and the public sector, teachers are also encouraged to get involved and run their own classroom-based activities, quizzes and competitions.   To download free resources for your classroom, including documentaries and activity packs, visit www.engineersweek.ie.