What do young children think engineers make? The answer can be found in a fascinating collection of paintings by children aged 5-7, which is the result of a competition run by engineering organisations to promote the profession among primary schools.
The competition, which attracted 6,000 entries from across the UK, was won by five-year-old Laura Williams from Crossens, Southport, with a picture of civil engineers working on a railway system. Other pictures showed trains, robots, rockets and computers, as well as the humble toaster and an automatic apple peeler.
`It has not only been engaging youngsters, but their parents and teachers too,’ said Malcolm Shirley, director-general of the Engineering Council, one of 12 bodies backing the awards. `That is half the battle, as it gets more people thinking seriously about engineering.’
In many cases parents became a bit too engaged in the project: `Thirty [of the top fifty pictures] were eliminated because of evidence of an adult’s hand,’ revealed one of the judges.