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The Engineering Education Grant scheme enters its fifth funding year

Peter Finegold, Head of Education

Our ambition is to attract more funders into the Engineering Education Grant Scheme and gain the support of other influential agencies
Our ambition is to attract more funders into the Engineering Education Grant Scheme and gain the support of other influential agencies

2019 is the fifth year of the highly successful Engineering Education Grant Scheme (EEGS), set up by IMechE and IET.

The scheme has funded 120 projects and reached almost 200,000 young people through diverse projects such as ‘Engineering Vehicles of the Future’ run by the Design and Technology Association and Kids Invent Stuff: Invention Challenges – a YouTube channel aimed at engaging primary school children with STEM.

There are three main aims of EEGS. The first is to support activities that will encourage young people in learning about engineering and developing their STEM skills. The second is to link up enthusiastic engineers with professional educators. But the third aim of the scheme is arguably the most important of all, in that it has built in a set of rigorous funding criteria that ensure quality, while also encouraging innovation.

Outreach activities matter a lot in promoting engineering since the subject does not feature in most young people’ school curricular experience and without family links to the sector, IMechE research shows how many young people simply don’t know what it is.

So it’s important that the engineering community funds projects that have the right impact and make sure that we don’t all end up repeating the same things or targeting the same groups.

The introduction of robust funding criteria overseen by a dedicated panel of expert reviewers – the majority of whom are members of the two funding Institutions – has resulted in a highly valued programme that has attracted external funding of £527,191 to add to the £643,939 awarded by IET and IMechE to date. Each grant recipient is also expected to carry out impact evaluation for six categories including learning new things and perceptions of what engineers do.

To mark this milestone of the two large PEIs working together to improve engineering education for our community, we’ve produced an infographic that illustrates the power of the scheme.

Our medium-term ambition is to attract more funders into the Engineering Education Grant Scheme and gain the support of other influential agencies so that we can move beyond funding the start-up phase of projects and offer support for established STEM engagement. This would help ‘de-clutter’ the outreach landscape and help to characterise what good engineering engagement looks like.

Find out more about the Engineering Education Grant Scheme and how to apply for funding.

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