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Engineering the Future Conference

Inspiring Tomorrow's Engineers: Science and Technology in Action

The main aim of this major conference, held at Glasgow Science Centre on 6 October 2009, was to support local authorities and secondary schools to make connections within and beyond the sciences and technologies in Curriculum for Excellence. It illustrated how engineering contexts can be used to extend and apply the specialist knowledge and understanding developed in these areas and to develop cross-curricular links.

Scotland has a strong tradition of scientific discovery and innovation in the application of science and technological research. Over the centuries Scotland has produced many leading engineering entrepreneurs and world class engineering has played a key role in the country's economic development. Engineering matters in the education of young people to help them understand how science and technology impact on their lives and on society more generally. It also provides excellent opportunities to develop young people's creative, inventive and problem solving skills.

Teachers, pupils and their partners from the universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow demonstrated the engineering activities they had developed and implemented in the sciences as part of the Engineering the Future Project. These activities enabled young people to apply and extend their knowledge and understanding of the sciences in the Curriculum for Excellence. An afternoon session demonstrated and discussed the potential for engineering approaches to the interdisciplinary project in the Science Baccalaureate and investigations in Advanced Higher work. This session will also raise the possibility of school/university collaboration in these areas.

Delegates attending the conference:

  • learned more about contemporary engineering and the benefits of engineering education;
  • viewed a range of successful engineering projects developed by secondary schools with their university partners;
  • discovered opportunities for developing understanding, awareness and experience of engineering as science and technology in action;
  • heard why teachers described their own experiences as 'interactive, innovative and engaging';
  • heard why young people found their active science and engineering learning experiences "interesting", "enjoyable", "more fun, when all working together", "challenging but achievable", and how they "made you think";
  • explored different ways of embedding engineering experiences within the Curriculum for Excellence sciences and technologies experiences and outcomes;
  • and considered the potential for engineering approaches to the Interdisciplinary Project in the Science Baccalaureate and in investigations at Advanced Higher level.

To view presentations from the conference go to the Project Resources page

    Newsletters

    The project produces regular newsletters to keep participants, collaborators and interested communities up to date on progress and developments.

    Engineering the Future Seminars

    The seminars were aimed at key people who are engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education - a diverse group of people from a broad range of backgrounds including schools, universities, Education Authorities, engineering organisations and policy. A key function of the seminars was to provide an opportunity for everyone involved to discuss the range of work that is going on in the project and to inform future developments. Various activities were planned to make them thought provoking as well as enjoyable days. The events recognised and celebrated what has been achieved in each collaboration between the school and university partnership.