Funded by the Platton Fund at the Community Foundation, Engineering for Families is a 6-week family-learning course developed for primary school children and their parents in Blyth and Ashington. During each weekly after-school session, families explore a different engineering career and discipline through hands-on practical activities, career case studies and real-world examples. Working collaboratively with their children participants investigate, design and make structures which explore the wide number of pathways into engineering, particularly those most relevant in the North East of England (structural, mechanical, marine and aeronautical engineering).
The course was developed in response to IET research that found many parents lack the confidence, knowledge and skills necessary to support their children with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The course design therefore provides numerous opportunities for parents and carers to work alongside their children to learn about the importance and application of engineering. This shared experience of hands-on, careers-focused engineering challenges was designed to strengthen the science capital of the families, and increase the confidence of parents to support their children in STEM learning at school and home.
This model also equips teachers schools with the knowledge and skills to run their own Engineering for Families course for families and wider community of the school in future years.