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.
Applications are open year round – The next 2019 activity runs 11–22 November.
This November, there’s Detection Zone – funded by STFC
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.
When is the activity?
What kind of questions do students ask?
What are the live chats like?
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!
How do evictions work?
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.
What’s the prize money for?
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
How much time will it take?
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.
What’s all this about zones?
The activity is divided into different themed zones with six engineers from that area, in each, such as the Robotics Zone.
Do I need any special software or equipment?
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.
Who can apply?
The activity shows students the wide variety of engineering careers, so is open to engineers from academia (from PhD students to professors) and industry.
How do I get selected?
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.