A new interactive gallery at London Transport Museum is aiming to inspire the next generation of engineers who will work on the capital’s transport network.
Future Engineers, which is now open to the public, features a range of experiences and challenges for young people, including a Future Job Generator that was co-created with Microsoft. The exhibit helps visitors select an engineering job – a dreamer, planner or fixer – based on their personality.
“One of the most important tasks for every generation is to inspire the generation of young people who will follow,” said Chris Perkins, General Manager of Public Sector at Microsoft. “We are passionate about giving children the knowledge and the skills to help them follow their dreams and embrace their career path. We are delighted to be involved in London Transport Museum’s new exhibition and we hope it inspires many youngsters to get involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).”
The gallery is being opened as part of the Year of Engineering, which the Government announced will take place throughout 2018. It aims to raise the profile of engineering among seven to 16 year-olds and encourage them to consider a career in the industry.
A report by EngineeringUK earlier this year found that engineering generates 23% of UK turnover, employs 5.6 million people and produces the majority of the nation’s exports. However, there is a shortfall of engineering graduates and technicians, especially women.
Other exhibits in London Transport Museum’s new gallery include an Elizabeth line train driving experience in a recreated cab, which lets visitors use control buttons and a computer system to drive through tunnels and pull in to a platform.
The Fix That Train challenge offers a taste of what it’s like to mend a train, while Go With The Flow shows how ticketing has evolved from the 19th century to the digital age. A tabletop game in the Shape Your City exhibit lets youngsters connect housing, stations, green spaces and landmarks to create a well-connected and sustainable city.
“The future London will be shaped by engineers,” said Sam Mullins, Director of the London Transport Museum. “Our new gallery asks how much of a dreamer, planner or fixer you are, creating a fresh view of the skills and mindsets needed to make a career as an engineer.
As well as Microsoft, partners for the new Future Engineers gallery include Bombardier Transportation, Jacobs and Mastercard.
London Transport Museum, in Covent Garden, contains more than 450,000 items from the past 200 years. These include an original horse tram from 1882, one of the oldest electric locomotives in Britain and the remains of a prototype spiral escalator that was installed in a lift shaft at Holloway Road station 1906 but then abandoned.