• Free virtual Family Fairs set to kick off STEPS Engineers Week 2021 on Saturday, 27 February and Sunday, 28 February
  • Fun engineering shows, online workshops and resources available to download for free during the week-long celebration of the engineering profession
  • Teachers encouraged to utilise free Wind Energy Challenge Packs, designed for students to explore sustainability in engineering on World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development

Thursday, 25 February: The creative and dynamic world of engineering is set to come to life in homes and schools across Ireland as STEPS Engineers Week 2021 kicks off this coming Saturday, 27 February.

Running until 5 March and taking place virtually for the first time, Engineers Ireland’s largest celebration of the engineering profession aims to encourage young people, their families and teachers to explore the creative world of engineering and the limitless opportunities a career in the sector can offer.

From Bandon to Letterkenny and Navan to Sligo, engineering professionals and third level institutions will engage with their communities through virtual classroom visits and online workshops to showcase their profession to primary and secondary students in their locality, highlighting the amazing ways engineers in Ireland are pushing boundaries of innovation.

Throughout the seven-day celebration of the engineering profession in Ireland, young people can also look forward to spectacular shows by some of Ireland’s leading STEM performers, with over 1,100 teachers signed up for exclusive engineering shows by Explorium’s Mark Langtry and Ali Knight, Scientific Sue and Silly Billy.

The second annual World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on 4 March will also be a highlight of STEPS Engineers Week 2021, with primary and secondary school teachers encouraged to utilise free Wind Energy Challenge Packs, designed for students to explore sustainability in engineering.

“Ireland has produced some of the world’s leading engineers, from John Phillip Holland, inventor of the first modern submarine to Alice Perry, the first female graduate of engineering in Europe, and Peter Rice, an award-winning Arup structural engineer who played a central role in the development of the world’s most celebrated buildings, including the Sydney Opera House, Lloyd’s Building in London and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. During STEPS Engineers Week, budding engineers will get the opportunity to explore Ireland’s rich engineering heritage and find out more about how today’s engineers are pushing the limits of ingenuity”, commented Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland.

Maurice Buckley, President of Engineers Ireland added: “Campaigns like STEPS Engineers Week are so vitally important, not just for the sector, but to respond to Ireland’s future skills needs. By working collaboratively with engineering professionals, organisations, local authorities and schools across the country during STEPS Engineers Week, we can help to inspire our young people to explore the exciting world of STEM and the vast opportunities a career in engineering can offer”.

Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “STEPS Engineers Week offers young people, their families and teachers the opportunity to explore the creative and boundless opportunities a career in STEM can offer. With a large variety of free online workshops, events and career conversations available throughout the week-long celebration of Ireland’s engineering sector, I would encourage parents, teachers and guardians to join in and bring the world of engineering to life at home and at school. ”

Now in its 15th year STEPS Engineers Week is coordinated by Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme - funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and industry leaders Arup, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). Highlights of the week-long campaign include:

  • A virtual weekend of Family Fairs on Saturday, 27 and Sunday 28 February, featuring spectacular engineering shows and engaging engineering activities by IT Sligo, Foróige YES! Youth Engineering Solutions Programme and Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme team. 
  • The publication of Engineers Ireland’s Engineering 2021: A  barometer of the profession report on Monday, 1 March which will focus on the impact of the pandemic on engineering employment
  • The Irish premiere of the Emmy-nominated Mission Unstoppable series, featuring STEPS Ambassador and NASA Datanaut, Fionnghuala O’Reilly.
  • Free-to-attend and on-demand virtual engineering shows for primary and secondary students by Explorium, Scientific Sue and other STEM professionals
  • Free engineering resources and activities, - with thousands of downloads already taken place - such as teacher challenge packs for primary and secondary school students, engineering trails and quizzes, available in both English and Irish
  • Meet an Engineer online events and podcasts, where students can hear from engineers at all stages of their careers and working in a variety of disciplines. A Women in Engineering series, featuring inspiring engineers such as 2020 All-Ireland camogie champion, Denise Gaule, will also be launched advance of International Women’s Day on 8 March.
  • Sustainability events and workshops to celebrate World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on 4 March
  • Free documentaries, such as The Story of Water by Irish Water, which also includes accompanying worksheets which are perfect for school or at home

To download free resources, including engineering activities, shows and documentaries, click here.