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If you were an engineer, what would you do?

Meet fascinating engineering professionals in person and online and design the future.

If you were an engineer, what would you do?

This national competition from Primary Engineer encourages pupils ages 11 to 19 across the UK to look at the world around them and find solutions to common problems by answering the question: “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”.

As part of the competition the pupils will be able to meet and interview an engineer, either in class or virtually, acting as an inspiration for their engineering designs. 

Designs are submitted so they can be graded by professional engineers and experts, with all pupils receiving a graded certificate. Two winners from each year group are then chosen with the winning designs being displayed at public exhibitions across the country.

Leading universities then select from the winning designs for their teams of engineers to create them – turning the ideas of secondary school pupils into working prototypes that could change the world.

Sign up today and take part in the 10th anniversary of this national competition.


There is no maximum capacity for this competition, whole schools can sign up or whole classes. Over 32,000 pupils took part in 21/22.


This competition is free to all schools and teachers.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Learning what the engineering workplace is like

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Gatsby benchmarks

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • A stable careers programme
  • Learning from career and labour market information
  • Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Experiences of workplaces
  • Encounters with further and higher education
  • Personal guidance

Subjects and topics

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing
    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Maths
    • Physics
    • Agriculture and food
    • Biotechnology
    • Chemical engineering
    • Design, art and fashion
    • Electronics, robotics and programming
    • Energy and environment
    • Entertainment, sound and lighting
    • Humanitarian aid
    • Materials, products and manufacturing
    • Medicine and healthcare
    • Space and aerospace engineering
    • Sport and fitness
    • Structures, construction and civil engineering
    • Mechanical engineering, systems and processes
    • Transport

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Aiming high - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Leadership - supporting, encouraging and motivating others to achieve a shared goal.

  • Listening - the ability to listen and understand information.

  • Problem solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Staying positive - the ability to use tactics to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.

What the teachers say

We would love to read all about your time with this experience!

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