Saturday, 6 November, marks the beginning of the new round of studies in the Young Engineer Programme at TalTech, focusing on technical and engineering fields. Participants in the programme are pupils from grades 9 to 12 and it has become popular among young people from all over Estonia.
Since 2018, more than 500 pupils have participated in the Young Engineer Programme and it is also becoming increasingly popular among pupils outside of Tallinn. Although the activities take place on the campus of TalTech, over the years there have been participants from Tartu, Pärnu, Paide, Rakvere, Tapa, Jõhvi, Haapsalu, and Kuressaare.
According to Toivo Tähemaa, researcher at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of TalTech, the programme gives young people a good overview of the essence of various engineering fields: “When they finish our programme, they have a much clearer picture and can choose their field of study later. In addition, they understand how creativity is intertwined with practicality in engineering, that it doesn’t mean just studying boring theoretical materials. ”
20 pupils will start in this round of the programme and the activities are mainly practical. The round consists of six days of study, which take place on Saturdays. Short lectures on each topic are combined with solving practical problems. Topics include: construction and testing of paper bridges, energy storage, indoor climate and engineering systems, mineral resources engineering, renewable energy, and virtual reality. The pupils can practice in real research laboratories under the guidance of university faculty, researchers, and students.
The programme is also based on close cooperation with companies, such as the ABB engine and generator plant, Ülemiste Water Treatment Plant of Tallinna Vesi, ETS Nord, Harju Elekter Elektrotehnika, Utilitas Tallinna Elektrijaam, and others.
The Young Engineer Programme is a training programme for upper secondary school pupils that aims to popularise research and development, science and technology, and IT and engineering in the society, and to make pupils more aware of and interested in research and engineering careers. The project is funded by the Archimedes Foundation. The rounds of the 2021/22 academic year are supported by the Estonian Research Council.