Engineers Week 2023: Here’s a taster of what’s on near you

3 Mar 2023

Young Engineers Week enthusiasts. Image: University of Galway

Are you a robot fan based in Sligo, a documentary buff in Galway, or simply a young person interested in hearing about what engineers do? Here’s what to look out for as part of Engineers Week.

Click here to view the full Engineers Week series.

If you have a little budding engineer in your house and you want to find something fun and STEM-themed to do with them over the next few days, you are in luck.

Engineers Week is upon us once again, and that means lots of events geared towards youngsters.

As part of the family-friendly STEM-inspired events, there are talks geared towards primary and secondary school students who want to learn about what it’s like to be an engineer.

Students will have the chance to hear from engineers who work with organisations like Huawei, Arup, MSD Carlow, Medtronic, AECOM, Eirgrid, Stryker, Pfizer, Irish Manufacturing Research, McAree Engineering, Murphy Group, Waterways Ireland, and more.

Engineers Week is all about spreading awareness of the great and varied work that the Irish engineering community does.

The annual series of events is run by Engineers Ireland as part of its STEPS outreach and engagement programme. This year’s Engineers Week kicks off on Saturday 4 March and runs until Friday 10 March.

Teachers, parents and community organisations are encouraged to get involved in the goings-on and encourage children to take an interest in engineering – no matter what age they are.

Further details on how to get involved are available on Engineers Ireland’s website.

Ahead of things getting underway tomorrow (4 March), let’s take a closer look at some of the great initiatives Engineers Ireland is holding over the next few days:

Performances for kids

Engagement starts early according to the folks at Engineers Ireland, and there are lots of cool things for kids to look forward to.

STEM performers Scientific Sue and Mark the Science Guy will host events in various locations around the country.

They will pop up at SETU Waterford; St Colmans NS, Tullamore, Offaly; SETU Carlow; Dundalk IT; Mary Immaculate College in Limerick; MTU Cork; MTU Kerry; University of Galway; and St Mary’s in Derry.

Mark the Science Guy will also host a performance at Maynooth University.

In Dublin, Silly Billy will host free walk-in shows tomorrow (4 March) in Jervis Shopping Centre at 12pm and 2pm, and on Sunday (5 March) in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre at 12pm and 2pm.

Young (and older) attendees at University of Galway’s family fun day, which is happening tomorrow (4 March), can strap themselves in for the interactive Eccentric Energy Show.

It’s presented by Dr Naomi Lavelle from the award winning science website Dr How’s Science Wows. Dr How will introduce audiences to the spectacle of energy using a bunch of different high-octane experiments.

Also at the Galway family fun day, the Fun Fantastic Physics show by Anyone4Science will see children use physics to do a whole lot of wacky things. Escape from jail, make a mechanism to lift an adult, sit comfortably on a bed of nails, stand on balloons, see if they are full of hot air and make a teabag fly, to name a few.

Film buffs

University of Galway is holding two film screenings as part of its family fun day tomorrow (4 March).

There will be a film screening of a documentary called Dream Big: Engineering Our World, which is narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges and tells the stories of some of the engineering marvels humanity has come up with.

The second film is all about John Phillip Holland, the Irish engineer behind one of the first fully functioning submarines.

The family fun day runs from 10am to 4pm at the Alice Perry Engineering Building at University of Galway’s campus.

You can secure your place here.

Robots in Sligo

In Sligo, the theme for Engineers Week 2023 is robots. Sligo STEM lovers of all ages can get up close and personal with robots on Sunday 5 March at ATU Sligo’s engineering fair.

Attendees will be greeted by some intergalactic celebrity robots including Star Wars’ R2-D2 and a Dalek from Dr Who.

Highlights of the packed programme of events will be a mini Robots War, fan-powered car workshops, 3D printing demonstrations and Lego workshops with Bricks4Kids.

This year will also see the return of Abbott’s Engineering Room. This will give attendees an exciting experience with hands-on engineering experiments and interactive stations for attendees to learn about different aspects of STEM.

The Sligo event is free but if you want to attend you are encouraged to book your spot here.

Making engineering accessible

Making Engineers Week an enjoyable experience for everyone is important to the community of Engineers Ireland.

There are some good steps being taken this year to include young people with autism and additional sensory needs in this year’s schedule.

Primary school teacher and blogger Múinteoir Valerie has created a free resource for children with autism to gain an insight into the world of engineering in a highly visual way.

The Visual Approach to Engineering and Vocabulary Development resource focuses on repetition of key words associated with engineering, as well as matching games and activities based on developing vocabulary.

And University of Galway’s family fun day has a dedicated sensory room for attendees who need a little bit of calm. This is the first year this measure is being implemented.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.