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Making today’s play, tomorrow’s innovation

by Ellie Harte, recruitment partner  

Children, creative natives
My five year old is obsessed with Lego. And this weekend I spent a significant amount of time co-designing weird and wonderful creations, or seeing how quickly we could demolish what we’d spent the last hour making. Oh, and standing on random sharp bits (Lego isn’t Lego if you’re not injuring yourself). A lot of what we play with is retro 80s Lego passed down from his uncle – my brother. And I fondly remember he and I would while away hours creating our own cities, building the world one brick at a time. 

Then one day we stopped building
We stopped inventing and just suddenly ‘grew up’. But what plugged our imaginative flow? Was it computer games, hanging out with mates, the endless school work? Possibly. But why couldn’t our older selves exist side by side with our creative selves? When and why do we lose the love for being the mini-engineers of the future? 

Every day at Atkins I’m lucky to cross paths with engineers who never lost that love, from graduates to technical thought-leaders at director-level. What was different for them? What was it that inspired them to merge their passions into their working lives?

The answer = understanding
Do the younger generation even know what modern-day engineering is? Do we do enough to dispel the myths around it? Would they even know where to start to become an engineer? Do they even realise that the 2ft high Lego tower they’ve built is in its own right, a feat of engineering? No!

Our animation for primary schools
When Atkins decided to zero in on the government’s ‘Year of Engineering’ initiative, we wanted to cross a new frontier —getting primary school children excited about engineering. So our animated film is different to anything we’ve ever produced before and does exactly that. Rather than push what engineers do, we’ve flipped the concept, submerging children in a world with no engineers. No bridges, buildings or roads – no Xbox or Nintendo. We’re showcasing the reality of how important engineers are to our daily lives and how our future depends on them.

Let’s spread the message
Our film is fun yet thought-provoking, and is definitely share-worthy. So please help us get the message into every school and in front of every child in the UK. Share it with all the parents and teachers you know via social media, email or whatsapp. Let’s inspire them to become the future generation of engineers. Let’s encourage them to speak to their teachers or parents and stay on their creative journey! 

And while you’re at it, try not go get our jingle stuck in your head. It’s highly addictive.