The activity was amazing and I would highly recommend taking part… It is such a unique way of communicating STEM ideas to students in an informal setting
Lauren, chemical engineer
I’m an Engineer is an online public engagement activity that gets people in engineering talking to school students all over the UK.
Engineers develop their communication skills, gain a fresh perspective on their work, and find out what young people think about engineering and the role of engineers.
We are currently working out how best to support schools and teachers for the rest of the academic year. Apply and we will contact you with upcoming opportunities to help out.
How it works
Everything happens online so it’s easy for you to be involved right from your desk or smartphone and at times that suit your schedule.
Engineers put up a profile on this site, answer students’ questions about engineering, their work, the universe and beyond. They engage directly with students in live text-based chats. Students vote for their favourite engineer to win £500 to spend on further public engagement.
Please note: Due to the school closures for summer term 2020, we will be running the activity in a different format than the usual two-week event in June. Sign up to hear about the opportunities as soon as they’re announced.
The questions students ask
Students will ask engineers questions about anything they like, from robots to pizza toppings. All questions are moderated, to remove duplicate questions, as well as rude or offensive ones. The variety of questions and reactions from students are key to the benefits engineers get from taking part.
Live chats with classes
Live chats last 30 minutes; they are text-based, fast paced and fun. We limit the chats to 3 a day, but usually there will be fewer. We don’t expect all engineers to attend every chat!
Evictions up the excitement
Starting on Tuesday of the second week, the engineer with the fewest votes will be evicted at 3pm each day, until one is left to be crowned the winner on the last Friday! Students get a new vote every day.
Prize money for your projects
One engineer in every zone wins £500 to be spent on a engineering communication project: school visits, engineer fair exhibits, videos or podcasts, blogs, arranging class visits to your lab. Check out how past winners have spent their money
Time commitment is flexible and the format is designed so you can fit taking part into your normal schedule as much as possible.
Most engineers say they spend around 2 hours a day on the activity; 1 hour on live chats and another hour answering students’ questions, which can be during the evening, outside of the work day. Each run of the activity usually takes place over two weeks.
Zones: A group of engineers and schools
The activity is divided into different themed zones with six engineers from that area, in each, such as the Robotics Zone.
Equipment you need
All that’s needed is a computer with internet access. The live chats are text-based (no video or audio needed) and run through this site. Find out more about why it’s a text-focused format.
The activity shows students the wide variety of engineering careers, so is open to engineers from academia (from PhD students to professors) and anyone from the engineering industry. If you’d like to check your eligibility, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Engineers write a short summary explaining their work to 13/14 year olds when they apply. Students and teachers rate these summaries, to guide who is selected for each zone. Read more about the application process.