Public backs more engineering on school curriculum

A new survey by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has revealed an appetite for more engineering to be included in the school curriculum, as well as strong support for more women to enter the profession.

(Credit: Wesley Fryer)
(Credit: Wesley Fryer)

More than three quarters of respondents (78 per cent) said they would back a move to have more engineering taught at schools, while almost nine out of ten (86 per cent) said they would support their school-aged daughter if she decided to become an engineer.

“We think it is vital that in addition to learning about volcanoes and photosynthesis, children are also taught about the manufactured world and understand the principles of objects, such as a phone touchscreen or a dialysis machine,” said Dr Helen Meese, head of healthcare at IMechE.

The survey, commissioned to coincide with this week’s International Women’s Day, revealed widespread support for young women to engage more with engineering. According to the poll, 78 per cent said it would be a good career choice for a woman, while just 4 per cent believed the opposite.

“Currently just 6 per cent of UK engineers are female, but the results of this survey are encouraging and show that there is appetite for change,” said Meese.

“On International Women’s Day we want to celebrate the huge achievements of female engineers and to call on more women to consider a career in engineering. Engineering opens doors to hugely creative and rewarding career paths, from creating the next generation of greener, more efficient technologies, to developing life-saving procedures used in hospitals.”