Ambassador announcement comes in advance of STEPS Engineers Week, taking place from 27 February – 5 March
Co-Founder of The Rapid Foundation, Sapien Innovation and TeamOSV Colin Keogh; Jaguar Land Rover Chartered Engineer Orla Murphy; NASA Datanaut and Miss Universe Ireland Fionnghuala O’Reilly; and Mayo Footballer and Jacobs Chartered Engineer Tom Parsons have teamed up with Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme to inspire students to explore the limitless opportunities a career in engineering can offer.
The inspiring engineers who have delivered creative engineering solutions and projects from 3-D printed prosthesis and ventilator parts, to infrastructure, acoustic car technology and NASA’s Space App Challenge, will now add the title of STEPS Ambassador to their list of accolades.
Engineers Ireland’s STEPS Programme – funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover programme and supported by industry leaders Arup, Intel, TII and ESB – has developed a number of hands-on workshops and programmes that aim to spark children’s imaginations about engineering. The STEPS programme focuses its core activities on four key initiatives, aimed at primary and secondary school children:
- STEPS Engineers Week, promotes engineering as a career choice and the importance of the profession to Ireland, taking place from 27 February – 5 March
- STEPS Young Engineers Award, a competition for 3rd and 4th class pupils to find Ireland’s next generation of engineering talent
- STEPS Engineering Your Future Programme, providing Transition Year Students with an immersive experience among engineering academia and industry
- Engineering Girl Guides and Brownie Badges, an initiative developed with the Irish Girl Guides
Commenting on this week’s Ambassador announcement, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said: “Engineers Ireland is a leading advocate for STEM education, inspiring curiosity, exploration, creativity and problem-solving in children from an early age. We are so pleased to work with our STEPS Ambassadors, Colin Keogh, Orla Murphy, Fionnghuala O’ Reilly and Tom Parsons who will assist us in our outreach efforts to inspire the next generation of engineering talent in Ireland.
“Engineers are uniquely placed to help the world meet critical goals, including ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all. Through our STEPS Programme and by engaging with our Ambassadors, we hope to encourage and inspire young people to pursue further study and a career in engineering, so that they too can be equipped to innovate and respond to societal needs in the future,” Ms Spillane continued.
As part of this week’s announcement, the STEPS Ambassadors issued a ‘call to action’ to schools, businesses, third-level institutions and local authorities across Ireland to start planning events for STEPS Engineers Week 2021, taking place from 27 February – 5 March. Now in its 15th year, the week-long campaign is held annually to encourage young people, their teachers and parents to explore the creative world of engineering and highlight the diverse opportunities a career in the sector can offer.
Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement at Science Foundation Ireland, and Chartered Engineer, said: “We are delighted to support Engineers Week 2021 in partnership with Engineers Ireland’s STEPS Programme. STEPS Engineers Week 2021 offers an opportunity to encourage and inspire young people by increasing their knowledge and understanding of the world of engineering. Engineering innovations are needed to help our world solve tomorrow’s challenges. It is our hope that the engineering community will come together to help Ireland’s future engineering talent explore this fascinating subject area and learn about how engineers shape our world.”
To assist organisers with their outreach efforts, the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme team has created a number of free online resources, including activity packs, documentaries and presentations which are now available to download. A series of webinars will also be held for activity organisers in the lead up to STEPS Engineers Week to assist organisers with event and engagement ideas.
For further information on how to get involved in STEPS Engineers Week 2021 and to help inspire the next generation of engineering talent in Ireland, visit: www.engineersireland.ie/Schools/Engineers-Week/