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App set to help kids decide on a future career

Students will have the chance to discover if they are Coding Legends or Future Lifesavers thanks to a new careers quiz that aims to help young people explore different engineering disciplines, skills and job roles.

Meet the Future You’ quizzes young people on their skills and interests to identify different areas of engineering they might enjoy working in and aims to highlight that engineering is open to everyone.

Ahead of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which runs from 4-8 November 2019, the quiz was developed by EngineeringUK in partnership with UCL Engineering and with the support of the Tomorrow’s Engineers Careers Working Group.

Aimed at young people aged from 7 to 19, the quiz helps pupils to discover their strengths and interests through probing questions like which global challenges they would like to tackle to lighter material like their favourite summer holiday activity – it then matches them to profiles such as Future Lifesaver or Universe Explorer.

These profiles are based on real-life engineers from UCL’s engineering faculty, which were developed as part of a public engagement project to showcase a diverse range of backgrounds. Of the 11 characters,7 are women, 7 are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds, 2 are LGBTQ, and 1 is a wheelchair user.

‘Meet the Future You’ showcases the variety of exciting engineering careers on offer, such as wind turbine technician to cancer researcher, and gives students the opportunity to identify with a real-life engineers or roles they can relate to as well as highlighting a diverse range of engineers from different backgrounds.

Thousands of school children had the chance to trial ‘Meet the Future You’ at The Big Bang Fair held in Birmingham earlier in the year. At the Fair, females were the largest group to take the quiz (61%) and they ranked Social Conscience as their top strength while males ranked Problem Solving first and this was by far the most frequently matched strength for that group. The top 2 profile matches for both genders was Civilisation Saver – engineers who design cities that are resilient to future challenges – and Sea Crusader, which includes marine engineers.

Elpida Makrygianni, Education Developer and Coordinator at UCL Engineering said:

We wanted to breakdown popular misconceptions about engineers and show how diverse the field of engineering can be to young people.We are delighted to partner with EngineeringUK to develop the project further.

The Meet the Future You quiz is available online at https://www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/quiz and as a free app.

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Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise communications.