A free interactive exhibition aimed at inspiring young people to think like engineers will open at the Science Museum this December.
The three-year Engineer Your Future exhibition will challenge visitors’ through a series of large-scale interactive games and digital experiences that bring to life the skills engineers use every day such as adaptation, creative problem solving and systems thinking.
The interactive aspects of exhibition, which opens on 17 December, draw on recent Royal Academy of Engineering research into how engineers think and a series of objects and an accompanying film will also showcase some of the stories of modern day engineers and how they design, improve and test their ideas.
Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum, said: “Engineer Your Future contains a clever mix of fun and inspiration. I hope visitors leave the exhibition surprised by the breadth of engineering careers, excited about the fascinating work engineers do, and, most importantly, with an awareness of engineering as something that they themselves could do.”
An interactive multiplayer game, which will see visitors competing to design a vehicle from a limited set of resources that can travel the furthest across a challenging alien landscape, will test problem-solving skills.
Systems thinking and team work will be tested in another game, which will see visitors managing electrical flow through the National Grid, a train through a railway network, or luggage through an airport baggage-handling system.
An interactive, futuristic cityscape can also be explored, with visitors able to discover over 30 real people working across engineering, from energy generation to transport, health and creating visual effects for film.
Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid, said: “Engineering is designing the future. We need to capture the imagination and attention of inquisitive bright young minds and show them that they can play a part in shaping how the world is going to be.
“But it’s more than just bringing to life the role engineering plays in society, there’s also a serious message about our young people’s futures. In the next five years the UK needs 600,000 engineers entering the profession, that’s around 120,000 new entrants each year.
“We currently only have around 21,000 studying engineering degrees and we need to nearly double the number of STEM-qualified apprentices and technicians. If we don’t, there’s a huge skills gap that we can’t fill and generations of young people will be without the right qualifications to do the jobs on offer.”
The exhibition forms part of the Science Museum’s pledge to support the Your Life campaign, which aims to boost the number of young people studying physics and maths.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Inspiring the next generation of engineers is vital if the sector is to grow and compete internationally, which is why a long-term commitment to world-class skills is at the heart of our Industrial Strategy.”
“Through the Your Life Campaign we have joined forces with industry, academia and institutions, including the Science Museum, to encourage young people to study maths and physics. We are committed to ensuring young people have the skills employers want and need and are delighted to be investing in this innovative exhibition.”
More information on the Engineer Your Future exhibition is available on the Science Museum website.