Engineering should be taught to primary pupils, IME advises

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) has recommended that the primary school curriculum be adapted to include studies regarding the manufactured world.

The report, Big Ideas: the future of engineering in schools, suggests that pupils should be taught about engineering from primary school onwards, in a bid to encourage more young people to consider a career in engineering.

Peter Finegold, author of the report, said: “We need to stop talking about the skills gap, and start taking action to ensure that we give children and students the best chance to make informed choices in our technological society. The best way to do this is to change the stories we tell about engineering, and to make the subject more visible throughout school.

“This would mean pupils wouldn’t have to make decisions to give up subjects before they really knew what they were. Early specialisation routes young people into either arts or sciences too soon, and prevents many from considering engineering study or training before they’ve encountered it.”

Janet Clark, education policy adviser for the Association of Teacher and Lecturers (ATL) union, welcomed the call for a broader curriculum. She said: “There are other problems associated with a lack of young people entering the engineering profession, including a shortage of physics teachers.”

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