With STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) being championed by the Department for Education, most schools are fulfilling their statutory requirements by supplementing their regular lessons with extra-curricular activities or the occasional STEM day from an external provider. At Woodbridge School Prep, unlike many other schools, we recognise that engineering is at the core of STEM, as it utilises science and maths to create technology and in 2017 took the decision to become one of the first schools in the UK to champion engineering as a stand-alone, timetabled subject.
“Scientists investigate that which already is. Engineers create that which has never been.”
The introduction of engineering to the school curriculum was made with the hope that young girls and boys would foster the ability to use the knowledge and skills they have been taught and turn them to practical use.
With a recognised shortage of engineers Europe-wide and government findings that females are underrepresented in most STEM subject areas in the UK workplace, it is our responsibility as educators to promote inclusivity and prepare our children to fill the skills gap.
Some benefits of studying engineering are more obvious, such as developing useful tool skills, practical health and safety, assessing risk, constructive collaboration and seeing a plan come to completion; but it is no exaggeration that it will be up to the engineers of the future to imagine the designs that benefit humanity or confront environmental issues with real and concrete solutions. Put simply, engineering is important.