From education to employment

New quiz inspires future engineers

Students will have the chance to discover if they are Coding Legends or Future Lifesavers thanks to a new careers quiz that aims to help young people explore different engineering disciplines, skills and job roles.

Meet the Future You’ quizzes young people on their skills and interests to identify different areas of engineering they might enjoy working in and aims to highlight that engineering is open to everyone.

The quiz was developed by EngineeringUK in partnership with UCL Engineering and with the support of the Tomorrow’s Engineers Careers Working Group.

Aimed at young people aged from 7 to 19, the quiz helps pupils to discover their strengths and interests through probing questions like which global challenges they would like to tackle to lighter material like their favourite summer holiday activity – it then matches them to profiles such as Future Lifesaver or Universe Explorer.

These profiles are based on real-life engineers from UCL’s engineering faculty, which were developed as part of a public engagement project to showcase a diverse range of backgrounds. Of the 11 characters, 7 are women, 7 are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds, 2 are LGBTQ, and 1 is a wheelchair user.

‘Meet the Future You’ showcases the variety of exciting engineering careers on offer, such as wind turbine technician to cancer researcher, and gives students the opportunity to identify with a real-life engineers or roles they can relate to as well as highlighting a diverse range of engineers from different backgrounds. 

Thousands of school children had the chance to trial ‘Meet the Future You’ at The Big Bang Fair held in Birmingham earlier in the year. At the Fair, females were the largest group to take the quiz (61%) and they ranked Social Conscience as their top strength while males ranked Problem Solving first and this was by far the most frequently matched strength for that group. The top 2 profile matches for both genders was Civilisation Saver – engineers who design cities that are resilient to future challenges – and Sea Crusader, which includes marine engineers. 

Professor Clare Elwell from UCL Engineering, who develops technology in healthcare to create a brighter future for the world’s poorest children and who is the real-life inspiration for the Future Lifesaver profile, tested the quiz at The Fair and found she was matched to her own profile. Professor Elwell said:

“This is a brilliantly innovative way of engaging young people with the huge breadth of careers in engineering. It was great to see the kids at The Fair connecting their interests and passions with the actual jobs of real-life engineers.” 

Eleanor Eyre, Head of Careers at EngineeringUK said:

“We were excited to partner with UCL Engineering and bring to life these inspiring profiles in this new interactive quiz. ‘Meet the Future You’ aims to inspire young people and demonstrate that anyone can become an engineer, by showcasing a diverse range of real-life engineers.

“It highlights that engineering can be a route to following your passion, whether that’s saving the environment or creating robots. Today’s engineers are producing medical vaccines, developing autonomous cars and commercialising space flight. We wanted tomorrow’s engineers to realise the huge range of career choice out there if they decide to follow pathways that lead to careers in engineering.”

Elpida Makrygianni, Education Developer and Coordinator at UCL Engineering said:

“We wanted to breakdown popular misconceptions about engineers and show how diverse the field of engineering can be to young people. We are delighted to partner with EngineeringUK to develop the project further.”

The Meet the Future You quiz is available online, and as a free app.

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