On 18 October 2023, over 3600 young people from schools across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire became engineers for an hour designing vehicles of the future with RAF Fast Jet Engineer Sergeant Chris Broadwith. 

A partnership with the RAF Youth STEM and Lincoln College, We Can Be: Engineers brought together 170 classes from 58 schools across the two counties to encourage young people to see themselves as engineers of the future.

During live digital events, young people got to ask their questions about all things engineering to real life engineer, Chris, before he guided them through a three step engineering design process to draw their future vehicles. From solar powered planes to aquatic cars, their creative and original designs were shared and celebrated live across two counties. 

Following the workshops, classes were challenged to take the project further and build prototypes of their designs. Two winning classes from Blidworth Oaks Primary in Nottinghamshire and Billinghay Church of England in Lincolnshire were invited to a hands on engineering days with our partner Lincoln College where they built hovercrafts out of old CDs and launched rockets into the sky.

Teachers were very positive about the impact of the programme on their young people. Two thirds of them also told us that the workshop had changed their students’ perception of engineering and who could be an engineer.

“It inspired them and made them realise they can grow up and do an interesting and exciting job as many children in our setting are deprived of the knowledge and first hand experience of exciting careers.”  Teacher

Prior to the programme teachers reported low levels of confidence when talking about engineering and engineering jobs in their classroom with half of teachers saying they were not at all confident. This programme provided teachers with real world examples of engineering in action to support both them and their students to make engineering a topic of conversation in their classroom.

We Can Be: Engineers supports the RAF Youth and STEM Team’s mission to engage and inspire the next generation of innovators, aviators and engineers. We Can Be: Engineers took place on 18 October 2023 in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. In October 2024, it will be offered to schools in Bolton.