From Monday 31 July to Saturday 5 August, there will be a range of public and school-focused events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch that provide the general public with opportunities to learn more about engineers and what they create.
The free Engineering Expos will be 10am – 4pm, Saturday August 5 at
Free screenings of the Dream Big: Engineering Our World film are being organised for school students and the general public, including at the Engineering Expos and other locations during the week. This big budget film is narrated by actor Jeff Bridges and celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, from the Great Wall of China and the world's tallest buildings, to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities.
The School Programme will provide Year 11-13 students with an opportunity to go on a field trip to the workplace – or work site – of one of the participating engineering or technology companies. Schools have been invited to sign up their students to participate in programmes relevant to what they're studying.
How can you get involved? The Week of Engineering team will be looking for volunteers to help with the interactive activities at each Engineering Expo. And encourage your friends and family to come along!
To find out more, visit www.weekofengineering.co.nz >>
Or contact your regional Facilitator >>
We’ve now posted nearly a thousand of your stories – 963 to be precise. Over the last five years we’ve grouped them by 50+ job roles, the school subjects that were your favourites, and specific tertiary qualifications (such as the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering), but it seemed like time for a new way to explore the collection.
Inspired by the Māori Futuremakers site, we created a Profile Explorer tool, which is designed to allow students to filter profiles by words that describe what’s involved in the job, as well as by gender, ethnicity and industry.
Listing the 27 keywords – which include everything from ‘adventure’, ‘attention to detail’ and ‘building’ to ‘technically challenging’, ‘travel’ and ‘variety’ – and showing the matching stories both asserts and proves that these qualities are involved in STEM careers.
If you’ve filled in an online Ambassador questionnaire about your qualification pathway and career experiences, you’ll have been asked to select about six keywords that you consider to be the most applicable to your job. We’ve filled these in for older profiles, and we do tend to do a little editing when people enthusiastically select all or most of the keywords…
We added gender and ethnicity options because research shows that school students are strongly influenced by their ideas about what sorts of jobs are suitable for ‘people like me’.
We’ve designed the tool so the filters can be used in combinations, for example, to find women who work in the infrastructure industry and describe their work as creative, innovative, and involving problem-solving and opportunities to learn (6 stories).
The ethnicity options are based on the New Zealand Census categories, and we’re in the process of changing our systems to be consistent with the Census in allowing the selection of more than one ethnicity. We’re also planning to add an ‘Other’ gender category. Please let us know if you’d like to update how we’ve recorded you in terms of gender or ethnicity.
Check it out at www.futureintech.org.nz/profile-explorer/
We’d love your comments and suggestions so please email Madeleine at email@example.com or call (04) 473 2026
We’ve often supported events for schools organised by the Women in Engineering groups at Auckland and Canterbury universities, and it seemed like there was a need for similar opportunities for young women at schools in Wellington.
“I was very encouraged by the groundswell of support for the idea from female engineers in Wellington and from the IPENZ Wellington branch in particular,” says Wellington and Manawatu Facilitator Susan Weekes. “The support from Ambassadors, retired Ambassadors who have come back to help, and other senior women engineers has been fantastic.”
Susan worked with Kennie Tsui, Chair of the IPENZ Wellington Branch, to organise a series of three events at WelTec in Petone, Pataka Museum in Porirua and Beca’s central Wellington offices to provide female high school students all across the region with the opportunity to be inspired.
Female engineers and software developers introduced themselves and talked one-on-one with students and their parents. They included Sara Bailey, Julia van Eeden, Nina Ives, Vikki Stephens and Victoria Buckton-Wishart from Beca; Tessa Noakes from Aurecon; Kathryn Hempstalk, Amy Martin, Maxine Ellah and Toni Otang from Xero; Jessica Jenkins from Leighton/HEB; Eliza Sutton from Opus; Anna Smith from the Wellington City Council; Beth Parkin and Yassasvie Sundarapperuma from Stantec; Kalani Wakkumbura from Solnet; Andrea Wadsworth from the Civil Aviation Authority; Alannah Clark from GHD; and Juliette Thomson from Calibre.
One student gave us this feedback:
“I absolutely enjoyed talking to such intelligent, empowered women who have done extremely well for themselves in engineering. It was very fascinating to hear about the different pathways that they took to become engineers, as well as what they have done since graduating. I feel that much more certain about my choice to study engineering next year.
“My conversation with Kennie was definitely a highlight for me, she is such an incredibly strong and well-versed woman and it was such an honour to talk to her and to hear her stories about her career as an engineer.”
“It’s been a fantastic opportunity for me to meet so many young talented female engineers in the work force,” Kennie says. “I’m delighted that the Branch has been part of this and we’ve appreciated the support of Susan and the Futureintech programme, itself an IPENZ initiative.”
Photo (right): Jessica Jenkins talking to a student at the Porirua event about her work on the Transmission Gully project, which will provide Wellington with an alternative highway north.
The draft curriculum changes are focused on teaching young New Zealanders to be creators rather than just users of digital technologies. The proposal involves adding Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes and Computational Thinking for Digital Technologies as learning outcomes for Year 1 to 10 students.
$40 million has been allocated, including $24 million for upskilling teachers and introducing them to the new curriculum, and $6m towards a Digital Technology for All Equity Fund to allow 12,500 students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access digital learning opportunities.
Other aspects of the programme include a shift to online learning through apps and audiovisual streaming, and continuing to trial online exams.
The government has launched a consultation on the new digital content for students in Years 1 to 10, and expects it to be in the curriculum from 2018. New achievement standards are also being developed for NCEA Levels 1-3 (Years 11 to 13), which will foster the skills desired by industry.
Futureintech welcomes this development, and looks forward to supporting teachers and schools as they implement the new curriculum.
"I had to say 'yes' to this project," Kate explains. "There's a personal connection for me as the school is across the road from my house, and I have two nieces who are pupils."
In her first two visits to the class, Kate has talked about her career as an electrical engineer and covered some basics including how an electrical generator works. She's helping teacher Maxine Gill guide the students as they research the equipment they'll need for the project. They're also preparing a bill of materials and a budget to present to the client – the Board of Trustees – applying for funding being a very important part of any engineering project.
"I am very impressed with the kids – they are keen and smart. After I explained briefly how an electrical generator works, one girl suggested that we wrap coils of wire around the spokes and put magnets on the spokes that go up and down as the wheels turn so that they can induce current in the wires. She designed a generator from first principles!"
The group have come up with a plan to use the stationary bike to turn a cordless drill backwards to create a voltage on the battery terminals. They will use this to charge a powerbank, which can be connected to electronic devices.
"I did suggest to Maxine that when we have finished the project, the naughty kids can be sent to the bike to generate power instead of the normal detention. She thought that if she did that, kids would play up just so that they could get a turn on the bike!"
Kate is enjoying being a mentor and thoroughly recommends getting involved as a Neighbourhood Engineer.
"It's a fantastic way to be involved in your community and to inspire the next generation of enquiring minds. I am certainly very pleased that I took the plunge."
Illustration adapted from instructables.com