Curious About Engineering

A card game for 7 to 12 year-olds that illustrates 52 real jobs by real engineers living and working in the South West.

The cards were made for University of the West of England (UWE), Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) and  Digital Engineering Technology Innovation (DETI SW)

Cards show a diverse mix of engineers and job roles. They use a Top Trumps format to explore the skills and attitudes needed for the job. They show how a mix technical and academic skills are needed as well as the lifestyle related to the job role.

There are 13 families covering 13 engineering sectors with a 'Future Sector' created by children imagining future roles with high scores for Sustainability Skills.



"Me as an Engineering Curiosity Top Trump Card" - Photo from UWE Engineering outreach activity

A board game activity - called 'Engineering Heroes' will be launched in 2023. This game challenges a team of young people (13 -18 age range) to collaborate as 'Engineering Start-Up' businesses to create a city that achieves the UN Sustainability Goals. See more here

Outcome:Report from UWE Bristol the main delivery partner for the cards

September 2020-December 2022

    Research (Fogg-Rogers L, Hobbs L. Catch 22 - improving visibility of women in science and engineering for both recruitment and
    retention. Journal of Science Communication. 2019.)
    indicates that children need to see a wide variety of role models in order to enhance their social capital and identification with people in STEM. A critical resource has therefore been the development of new role modelling career cards for KS2 and KS3 children.
    DETI Inspire and Royal Academy of Engineering funded My Future My Choice to create this card game activity showcasing the wealth of different engineering roles and opportunities available. The cards show a great diversity and variety of engineers, with accompanying skills, background context, and colourful illustrations.

    The engineers depicted on the cards are based upon real engineers working in the West. To describe their job and determine their Top Trump scores, the engineers were interviewed about their route into engineering, as well as their skill set. Conscious effort was made to include more females and people from Black and Asian backgrounds, as they are underrepresented in the field. The diversity of people, careers and workplaces is intended to challenge perceptions of engineers and the jobs available in STEM, and show the children that people like them are part of Engineering. Each card is also accompanied by a short Tik-Tok style video, made by the engineers themselves, showing them at work or talking about their role. The videos are fun and light-hearted, intending to further cement the conception that engineers are real people and that they come from a wide range of relatable skills and backgrounds.

    In total, 40 videos were made and have so far been viewed by over 1,700 people. The videos can be accessed through the DETI Inspire YouTube channel

    In addition to the card pack, a full set of lesson plans, assembly ideas and activities were developed for use with KS1, KS2 and KS3 classes. The resources are designed to work best with live interaction and support from a STEM ambassador or student engineer, however they also include suggestions on how to deliver online. Depending on time, the activities can be delivered individually, in bite-sized chunks, or integrated into a themed curriculum. The cards, lessons and resources were first used in the Big Beam In event (discussed later in this report) during British Science Week, in March 2021, and are available to freely download from the Curiosity Connections website. Since the Big Beam In, the Engineering Curiosity cards have been offered for free to every school involved.

    327 packs have been sent out to 79 different schools and community groups. Assuming that at least 1 class of around 30 pupils have engaged with the card pack sent to each school, gives a potential indirect reach of 2370.

    120 packs have been by other users including ourselves 20 more packs are used in My Future My Choice workshop activities

    100 packs are being used by GE Volunteers as part of their Girls In STEM programme

    In the case of Easton community STEM club, the cards have been used by its sister project Omid, set up to support Afghan refugees over the holidays.

    The cards and resources have also been used directly as a DETI Inspire outreach programme, featuring real-life engineering role models, delivered to 38 classes in 14 schools, equating to over 820 children in Years 3-8 - schools that have completed this Engineering Curiosity BoxedEd workshop:


    Frome Vale Academy
    Christchurch Infants
    Bromley Heath Infant
    Barley Close
    Hans Price Academy

    Camley Church Primary
    Digitech Studio School
    Filton Avenue
    Our Lady of Lordes
    Hareclive E-Act Academy
    Bridge Learning Campus
    Clevedon  School 

    The DETI Inspire team has also partnered with the South Gloucestershire Libraries group, to bring Engineering Curiosity card sessions to KS2 school groups in libraries. The team has to date provided 12 Engineering Curiosity sessions to 12 different South Gloucestershire schools. This represents around 360 Year 6 students.