As students settle into a new school year, third- and fourth-class pupils and their teachers in are being encouraged to explore the world of engineering by taking part in the STEPS Young Engineers Award.

Now in its fifth year, the STEPS Young Engineers Award encourages students to develop creative engineering projects that could help to improve their local community. The award is one of four primary and post primary student engineering initiatives coordinated by Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme – funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science and industry leaders Arup, the EPA, ESB, Intel, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Third- and fourth-class teachers are now encouraged to register online to take part in this year’s competition. Teachers will be provided with resources for classroom use, including a teacher’s guide and engineering project book for students. A series of online webinars and video resources are also available to teachers to help guide them through the competition.  

Teachers are also encouraged to invite local engineers, or sign-up for a STEPS Volunteer Engineer, to visit their classrooms either in person or virtually to gain an understanding of the role of engineers in their communities and get feedback on their projects. The STEPS Young Engineers Award also meets the criteria to be included within Step 3 of Science Foundation Ireland’s Curious Minds Award.

Encouraging teachers to inspire students in the classroom, Damien Owens, Interim Director General and Registrar at Engineers Ireland said: “Engineers play a critical role in shaping the world around us and play an important role in addressing some of society’s biggest challenges by providing creative and sustainable solutions.

“Many of Ireland’s future engineering leaders are currently seated in primary schools across the country. We must inspire these students to find out more about the countless opportunities a career in engineering offers and participation in the STEPS Young Engineers Award is a fantastic way in which to engage our future engineering talent. We encourage third- and fourth-class teachers to participate in this year’s competition and look forward to reviewing the students’ creative and innovative project entries,” Mr Owens added.

Engineering professionals, whether in practice or retired, and engineering students are also being encouraged to actively participate in the STEPS Young Engineers Award and become Engineering Role Models. Mr Owens added: “An optional, but much-loved part of the students’ engineering journey is for student teams to present their projects to an engineer and gain insight into the world of engineering. We would encourage all engineers to get involved and support local school students to dream, create and invent like real engineers and sign-up today to support students in their community.”

For more information on the STEPS Young Engineers Award, visit: