The building blocks to a lifelong passion for engineering could be a step closer for thousands of children across the UK, as LEGO has announced its support for a national campaign led by the Government and creative agency 23red to bring children face to face with engineering experiences and role models.
The Engineers of the Future roadshow will be heading to primary schools across the UK this autumn as part of the Government’s Year of Engineering campaign. Led by engineers equipped with LEGO Education solutions, including LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 and LEGO Education MINDSTORMS EV3, the roadshow aims to inspire children by giving them access to quality hands-on learning experiences and by helping them to discover the exciting opportunities that are possible for all young aspiring engineers
For many of the children taking part it will also be their first chance to meet engineers face to face, giving them career role models from different backgrounds and helping transform perceptions of what it means to be an engineer.
It is one of a series of partnerships being delivered by 23red which will create direct experiences across multiple channels with a strong focus on digital and social activity. The partnerships will provide young people, parents and schools with first-hand experiences of the engineering sector, encouraging them to take a closer look at the world of engineering and feel more inspired by everything the industry has to offer. Brands already on board include Apple, Siemens, Ford and FIFA.
“Engineers are at the forefront of technology and infrastructure advances which are shaping all of our lives, from how we communicate and travel to tackling major challenges in healthcare and the environment. But the opportunities of this creative, innovative and hugely important profession are all too often misunderstood and overlooked by young people and their parents,” said Minister for the Year of Engineering, Nusrat Ghani.
“That’s why I’m thrilled to announce our collaboration with LEGO as part of the Year of Engineering. LEGO’s enduring popularity is testament to the curiosity, ingenuity and creativity that make so many children natural engineers, and Engineers of the Future is a chance to build on this – helping young people from all backgrounds discover how these skills could be their passport to a varied, well-paid and exciting career that makes a real difference to the world around them.”
Camilla Bottke, Head of LEGO Education After School and Competition, said: “For more than 35 years it has been our mission to inspire and develop all children, equipping them with the right skills to empower them to succeed, whatever their background and whatever their ambition. Our experience shows us the importance of supporting the development of STEM skills in children from an early age. We are delighted to be part of the UK Government’s Year of Engineering initiative to further our commitment to developing these important STEM skills in children across the country and leveraging technology to give children the opportunity to become aspiring engineers.”
Jane Asscher, CEO and Founding Partner at 23red said: “Many young people just wouldn’t consider how integral engineering is to our daily lives or the creative career opportunities it has to offer. Something as fun as playing with LEGO is a great way of introducing young people to the concept of engineering, making LEGO a perfect partner for the Year of Engineering.”
LEGO is the latest company to announce its support for the Year of Engineering, joining the likes of Apple, Usborne and the BBC along with more than 1,400 other businesses, charities, schools and colleges.
The Engineering profession needs 203,000 skilled people each year to 2024, and has an annual shortage of 20,000 graduates. The workforce also faces a major lack of diversity – only 12% of engineers are female and just 6% come from black, Asian or minority ethnic groups. The campaign aims to help change this by giving young people in all corners of the UK the chance to take a closer look at engineering by experiencing it for themselves – from meeting engineering role models in their school to taking part in hands on activities and workshops or engineering open doors events with their families.