The Engineers Ireland STEPS Young Engineers Award encourages third- and fourth-class pupils and their teachers to explore the world of engineering by developing an engineering project that would help to improve their local community.

Innovative project ideas

More than 250 projects were entered into the inaugural year of the Young Engineers Award competition, with two projects from Bunscoil Rinn na Chabhlaigh awarded the top prize in the country and a highly commended placement thanks to their innovative project ideas. Winning student team ‘The Carrots’, made up of Francesca, Sam, Kayla, Fantine, Tara and Kacper, came up with an ingenious idea to produce a small, environmentally friendly chip that uses solar energy to charge a mobile phone. Fellow classmates Laura, Kate, Cian, Katelyn, Fahad and Oliver, members of ‘The Enthusiastic Engineers’ were also highly commended for their innovative design - a steering wheel with sensors for skin to detect high alcohol levels which would automatically stop a car from starting. Sinéad Flannery, principal of Bunscoil Rinn na Chabhlaigh, said: “At Bunscoil Rinn na Chabhlaigh we place a profound importance on providing our students with relevant opportunities to engage with STEM activities in their formative years and to encourage our students to think scientifically though exploration and discovery.

'Testament to dedication of our teachers in fostering STEM engagement'

“Today’s STEPS Young Engineers Award presentation to Ms Kelleher’s and Ms Healy’s fourth-class students is a testament to the dedication of our teachers in fostering STEM engagement in the classroom and providing our students with the opportunity to innovate, create and explore together to engineer real world solutions for their local community and society.” Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland, said: “Many of the core engineering traits and behaviours – curiosity, exploration, creativity, problem-solving and collaboration – overlap with the principles of early childhood education and I would like to congratulate all of the teachers who encouraged their students to submit over 250 projects into the inaugural Young Engineers Award competition this year.” Orla Murphy, Engineering Superhero Ambassador for Engineers Week 2019, said: “I’m delighted to be at Bunscoil Rinn na Chabhlaigh today to present the STEPS Young Engineers Award. Having heard the project presentations from the winning teams this morning, I was so inspired by the students’ creativity and innovative project ideas.

'Career in engineering diverse and rewarding'

"A career in engineering is so diverse and rewarding and it is my hope that each of the students will continue to explore the limitless opportunities a career in the engineering sector can offer.” Engineers Week, now in its 13th year, is taking place in engineering organisations, businesses, local authorities, third level institutions, libraries and schools nationwide. The week-long festival is co-ordinated on a national basis by Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme – funded as a strategic partner of Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme Call – and supported by industry leaders Arup, Intel, ESB and TII. To find out more about the hundreds of events taking place in communities nationwide, visit: