Volunteer workshops to take place in Dublin, Donegal, Laois, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Engineers Ireland’s STEPS team is calling on engineering professionals and third-level engineering students nationwide to inspire primary school students in their local community by volunteering for the STEPS Young Engineers Award.

The 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.

Industry leaders Arup, ESB, Intel and TII

Now in its second year, the competition is funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme Call and is supported by the Department of Education and industry leaders Arup, ESB, Intel and TII.

Engineers, whether students, graduates, professionals or retirees, are encouraged to assist with the STEPS Young Engineers Award by becoming a STEPS Volunteer Engineer.

Volunteers will be linked to a school in their locality to help students with their projects and to showcase the role of engineers in their community through engagement in the classroom.

Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland, said: “In Engineers Ireland, we recognise our future engineering innovators who aspire to solve global issues may not even be in the engineering field yet - they may be just starting out their education journey in our primary schools.

“Through participation in the STEPS Young Engineers Award it is our hope that young girls and boys will work alongside our fantastic volunteer engineers to innovate, create and explore together to engineer real world solutions for their local community and society. Thanks to Bentley Systems’ support, we will also have a series of fantastic prizes for each winning school team.”

Dr Ruth Freeman, director of science for Society in Science Foundation Ireland, said: “By supporting initiatives like the STEPS Young Engineers Award through the SFI Discover Programme, we are able to engage with young people and inspire them to pursue further study and to consider a career in STEM.

Formative years

"Encouragement in the classroom in these formative years, and the opportunity to engage with engineers working in industry has the potential to spark a curiosity that could translate into a lifelong interest or career for many.”

The total time requirement for STEPS Volunteer Engineers is just four hours - two hours at the workshop and two hours in the classroom during November 25-29 - plus travel time to the workshop and local school.

Engineers Ireland’s STEPS team will support volunteer engineers throughout each step of the process by connecting the volunteer with local teachers who have requested school visits and providing resources for visits.

The Engineers Ireland STEPS team will host a number of workshops in Dublin, Donegal, Laois, Cork, Limerick and Galway to prepare volunteers for classroom visits.

To find out more, click here.