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Robots, autonomous vehicles and engineering sustainability to take centre stage at STEPS Engineers Week 2020

Pictured at The Rediscovery Centre, Ballymun who will be hosting Everyday Engineering Workshops throughout STEPS Engineers Week are Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, Loanna Veeramalay (age 6) and Gabriella Waibel, Education Activity Leader at The Rediscovery Centre.

Over 91,500 participants, including young people, their parents, teachers, engineers and industry, are set to take part in over 900 activities and events nationwide – from hands-on engineering challenges in classrooms and libraries to onsite engineering tours and open days – as part of Engineers Ireland’s STEPS Engineers Week 2020.

Starting tomorrow Saturday, 29 February and running until Friday, 6 March, 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 Shannon to Belfast and Dungloe to Enniscorthy, 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 engineers in Ireland are pushing the limits of creativity and ingenuity.

Leading engineering employers, including 4site, ESB, TII, Arup, Intel, IBM, Johnson and Johnson Visioncare, Roadbridge, Boston Scientific, Glan Agua, Colas Ireland, Mergon International, Ward and Burke Construction, H&MV Engineering, Irish Cement, Lufthansa Teknik Turbine Shannon, the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre and the Defence Forces will each engage students in their local communities by hosting site visits, engaging workshops or visiting schools during the weeklong celebration.

Local authorities, higher education institutions, libraries and STEM activity centres like Explorium, will also play a key role during STEPS Engineers Week by hosting a range of activities for local school children, including robotics workshops, Lego building challenges, documentary screenings and much more.

Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland said that she was delighted that many of Ireland’s large engineering employers, local authorities and engineering departments of Higher Education Institutes are getting involved to showcase their work, to help spark children’s imaginations about STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and to provide students with role models and real-world opportunities to engage with the engineering community.

Ms Spillane commented: “STEPS Engineers Week will provide parents and children with the opportunity to dream, invent and create like professional engineers.”

“We estimate that over 5,000 new jobs will be created in the engineering sector this year, so it is absolutely crucial that industry works with the education sector to make technical areas like engineering appealing and stimulating to our students right across the education spectrum.

“We are delighted to see so many engineering organisations, libraries, schools and third level institutions getting involved, in this the 14th year, of STEPS Engineers Week and showcasing the engineering profession to primary and secondary school students nationwide,” Ms. Spillane continued.

Dr Ruth Freeman, Director, Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Engineers Week will offer students across Ireland the opportunity to explore the many creative opportunities a job in engineering can offer. Today’s primary and secondary school students are Ireland’s future leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.  We want to inspire them to consider further study in these disciplines and keep their future options open, so that they can pursue exciting careers that will make a real difference.”

Additionally, during Engineers Week, Engineers Ireland is calling on Girl Guide and Brownie Units nationwide to take the STEPS Engineers Week Challenge to become Ireland’s Top Guide and Brownie Engineers.  They are 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.’

Caroline Spillane added: “The Guide Engineering Badge and Brownie Engineering Badge helps to engage young girls to work through a variety of fun engineering challenges based on creative thinking, curiosity and team-work.  We hope as many Units will engage in this STEPS Engineers Week Challenge and we look forward to crowning Ireland’s Top Guide and Brownie Engineers.”

Highlight events planned for STEPS Engineers Week 2020 include:

  • STEPS Engineers Week Family Fairs – Test your superhero powers, meet robots and create a sustainable future at STEPS Engineers Week in Dublin (Engineers Ireland), Cork (Lifetime Labs), Sligo (IT Sligo) and Galway (NUI Galway) – Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1 March. Every parent and child who attends STEPS Engineers Week Family Fair in Dublin will also be provided with complimentary tickets to visit Explorium in Sandyford during Engineers Week to engage in further STEM activities.
  • Discover how engineering is an essential part of our lives at the Everyday Engineering Workshop at The Rediscovery Centre, Ballymun, Dublin – Saturday, 29 February
  • Global Engineers Event – Over 100 Brazilian engineers will attend a workshop in Engineers Ireland to find out more about opportunities in the Irish engineering sector – 2 March
  • World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development and Launch of ‘Engineering 2020: A barometer of the profession in Ireland’ by David Donoghue, former Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations. Taking place in Engineers Ireland, Clyde Road on World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development- Wednesday, 4 March
  • Limerick for Engineering, a consortium of engineering companies and education providers, will present an interactive showcase at Shannon Airport. 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 – Thursday, 5 March
  • Waterford Institute of Technology will host an ESERO Ireland Space Careers Roadshow which will provide students with an excellent opportunity to engage with space industry professionals, and third-level institutions, so that they can get a taste of the exciting opportunities that a STEM career in Space has to offer – Thursday, 5 March
  • Engineering Your Future –a transition year work experience programme will be held at DCU, ESB Networks Dublin,  ESB Limerick, ESB Networks Sligo, and TU Dublin – Blanchardstown Campus – All Week
  • Take part in the ‘The Giraffe Habitat Challenge’ with Dublin Zoo. This innovative competition, sponsored by Dublin Zoo’s Sustainability Partner – SSE Airtricity, tasks budding young engineers to try their hand at creating a more sustainable giraffe habitat.

For more information and to get involved in STEPS Engineers Week 2020, visit:


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