Engineers Ireland was pleased to have the opportunity to make a submission to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s ‘Draft Science, Technology and Engineering Education Specification: for Primary and Special Schools’.

In its response, Engineers Ireland acknowledged the significant work already done in formulating this consultation document but noted a range of concerns.

These included a lack of representation of the engineering profession, more specifically of engineering academia, on the board responsible for commissioning the report, and a lack of clarity, or inconsistency, in the construction of learning outcomes within the report.

Accordingly, Engineers Ireland recommended a number of measures be taken, including: (i) the election of an engineering academic to the board to represent the interests of the profession and consult on the development of discipline-specific learning outcomes for the engineering stream; (ii) develop learning outcomes for each stream and ensure a consistent approach to their formulation; (iii) increase focus on active engagement with experienced engineers, encouraging tours, talks, or online engagement; (iv) improve focus on the need to develop children’s skills in application and spatial awareness, which is a predictor of success in STEM fields; and (v) improve awareness of the breadth of work undertaken by engineers.

Engineers Ireland understands the importance of encouraging future generations of engineers and this has been integral to Engineers Ireland's mission, delivered through our STEPS Programme.

Over the course of the last twenty-five years, STEPS has interacted with over a million primary and secondary school children. In 2024 alone, over 98,000 schoolchildren took part in Engineers Week events, which ran from the 2nd to the 8th of March this year, with 500 organisations participating. Our STEPS programme also provides a Young Engineers Award, an Engineering Your Future programme for Transition Year students, and a dedicated engineering merit badge developed with the Girl Guides.

Engineers Ireland looks forward to the finalisation of the Specification and to continued engagement in this area.

Engineers Ireland’s full response to Draft Science, Technology and Engineering Education Specification.