In the UK alone, the numbers entering the construction industry are nowhere near matching the 700,000 who are set to retire from the industry in the next 10 years.
Why should you become a STEM ambassador?
Dr Rebecca Wade, 2022 ICE STEM Ambassador of the Year, shares her five top tips for being a successful STEM ambassador:
- Be visible, be a role model - Visibility with purpose is powerful. By sharing your enthusiasm and experiences you will inspire others to consider engineering. Don’t underestimate the value of this, you can make a difference by ‘just’ sharing your enthusiasm about what you do.
- Do something practical and interactive – Think about ways to bring the subject to life and get people involved. If you're stuck for ideas, check out the brilliant suggestions and resources provided by the ICE.
- Teach the teachers - Work with teachers to help them understand what a career in engineering means today. Evidence suggests that teachers have lower confidence when teaching engineering compared to other subjects. As our discipline and our industry changes to meet modern challenges, it's important that we update the outdated ideas about what a career in engineering entails.
- Work with your employer or industry partners – Engaging in outreach can enhance your company or institution's reputation, encouraging others to join you. It can also provide development opportunities for you and your colleagues. You're an ambassador for your workplace as well as for engineering. Being a STEM Ambassador can boost professional skills and confidence, enhancing communication and creativity. On most major infrastructure projects there'll be a community engagement or social value professional who you can work with. Together you can deliver engagement opportunities for local schools and communities. I've had really rewarding collaborations with social value professionals. Reach out to them.
- Being a STEM Ambassador is a joy! It’s wonderful and rewarding to do. Yes, sometimes it’s exhausting, and it’s not always easy, but the more you do it, the more you learn about what works for you and for different audiences. If you enjoy what you do, please share your joy.
ICE Ambassadors help spread the word about civil engineering careers to young people, parents and teachers. You could:
- Talk about the profession and run activity sessions with young
- Represent civil engineering at careers fairs and STEM events (e.g. Big Bang Fairs)
- Give support to a particular school or STEM club project or competition entry
- Create new activities or set up events to help inspire young people, teachers or parents
- Talk to students at your old school about civil engineering.
You will be part of a global network of inspiring civil engineers all working towards the aim of opening up the profession to a greater number of young people.
UK based members can get started by simply signing up with STEM Learning for child safeguarding checks and training.
When you register with STEM Learning please make sure you select the option that allows them to share your details with us, so we can include you in our list of ICE STEM Ambassadors.
Just let us know which opportunities suit your interests and availability and you will be out and about inspiring the next generation.
If you are based outside of the UK, we will need to understand what the local safeguarding regulations are before you engage in any activity; please contact your regional representative for more information.
Should you have a school in mind to visit, we'll happily support that too, just let us know which school.
We ask that each of our ICE STEM Ambassadors commits to undertaking at least one activity a year to inspire the next generation of civil engineers.
If you’re already an ICE-affiliated STEM Ambassador, that’s great.
If you ticked the ‘ICE’ box on registering and aren’t getting emails from ICE about its education activities, then do please check on your MyICE account that you’ve given permission to receive ICE emails.
If you’re a registered STEM Ambassador affiliated to another professional institution, then please let ICE know, quoting your registration number, at [email protected].
Remember, to keep your STEM Ambassador registration current, you'll need to do one activity a year and record a short entry onto the STEM Learning database.
ICE STEM Ambassador of the Year 2022
Dr Rebecca Wade
"It’s a real privilege to be a STEM ambassador and it’s genuinely rewarding. As a STEM Ambassador, I share my enthusiasm for what I do with young people. I work hard to inspire women and underrepresented groups into engineering.
ICE STEM Ambassador of the Year 2021
Up until the age of 16, the words ‘civil engineer’ wasn't in Virtue's vocabulary. Now she has 5,000 subscribers to her Youtube channel where she inspires everyone that civil engineering isn't a male-dominiated field anymore. She believes this form of outreach should be considered alongside the norm of visiting schools or presentations as it’s far more accessible and reaches a greater audience.
ICE STEM Ambassador of the Year 2020
Sandhya first became involved with STEM activities and events as a university undergraduate. As part of her volunteering work while at Tony Gee, Sandhya has supported local students to achieve their CREST Awards, represented the company at numerous careers fairs and helped to improve work experience packages for students.
She’s also helped to inspire her work colleagues, contributing to a growing number of engineers getting involved with STEM activities.
Ready to start your journey?
If you'd like to inspire the next Brunel or Fergusson then we can help you. Simply register your details and we can supply you with supporting materials and advice.