ICE seeks STEM ambassador mentors for new 'CityZen' competition

Coach teams of 16 to 18-year-old students through a series of engineering-based challenges.

ICE is seeking members and STEM ambassadors to get involved with a new engineering competition for 16 to 18-year-olds.

The ICE David Butler competition aims to encourage more young people to apply for civil engineering at university or apprenticeship level. ICE Fellow David Butler actively supported the institution’s educational programmes over many years, with a particular interest in supporting opportunities for young engineers.

The competition provides an opportunity for students to experience working in civil engineering by playing a challenging online city-creating game, CityZen. CityZen has been created by digital developer Make Real with input from ICE member volunteers, and schools.

Calling STEM ambassadors

Each school team will be matched with an ICE STEM ambassador mentor. Mentors will guide and advise their team on the civil engineering challenges presented by CityZen.

The competition is an opportunity for mentors to positively influence young aspiring engineers, and is a valuable contribution towards their continuous professional development (CPD).

Each STEM ambassador’s input to their team should be delivered online to be Covid-secure. This means it is possible to support a team at a distance, however ICE recommends finding a local team or one in a familiar area, if possible.

Teams can be found through ICE adverts on the STEM Learning website. STEM ambassadors can also use the website to search for the competition with the 'online activities' filter on.

Many of the adverts on the STEM Learning Hub have specified days and times when the school is planning to run each activity, some do not. These schools will be finalising arrangements, in the autumn term, in discussion with their mentor.

STEM ambassadors unable to find a suitable team via the adverts should complete a short online form in order to be matched with a school partner.

Support for mentors

ICE is planning to deliver an online event in the summer, to give mentors the opportunity to learn about the competition. A video will also be available.

Once a STEM ambassador has signed up to support a team, they will receive an information pack before the competition begins, plus weekly emails containing key information.

Sign up as a STEM ambassador

To take an active role mentoring a competition team, sign up as an ICE STEM ambassador.

How the competition works

Most schools will be running the competition as a STEM Club activity. As a team mentor, the STEM ambassador will need to arrange to support their team for around one hour per week during the competition.

During the weekly session, the STEM ambassador will discuss key themes from each weekly task with their team using their own civil engineering knowledge and the resources provided by ICE.

The team will then play the game without active input from their mentor for part of the session. The mentor will help the team think about the issues involved in each challenge without giving them 'answers'.

Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams and their schools. For all teams who complete the competition, their members will receive ICE certificates, which will assist students in their applications to university and/or jobs in the future.

How to promote the competition

Over 50 schools have already registered to compete, many of whom are planning to enter multiple teams. ICE would like members' support to encourage as many schools and colleges as possible to take part.

Members can share ICE School's Twitter account posts for the competition, or direct schools and interested contacts to the competition entry form.

Find out more about volunteering with ICE