Marvel and the Year of Engineering: More Heroes Needed
‘Mum, guess what? I took an aptitude test at school and it said I’m either gonna be a professional footballer, or a football coach, or a sports commentator. Or maybe a video game designer…’
Now I’m not your typical Nigerian tiger mother. But my eyebrow got higher and higher as Ezra outlined his career prospects. As fun as playing football and Fortnite for a living sounds, I really want the boys to think outside the Xbox. After all, there’s more to life than gamer thumbs and a magic left foot.
Luckily, I had a trick up my sleeve: an aptitude test**, by Marvel and the Year of Engineering. My boys have a keen interest in STEM — and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So they jumped at the opportunity to try it out.
More Heroes Needed in Engineering
Marvel has teamed up with the Year of Engineering to design this aptitude test specially for young Super Heroes. In case you haven’t heard, 2018 is the Year of Engineering (cooler than the Age of Ultron). The government-led campaign aims to celebrate the wonders of engineering and to inspire kids aged 7 to 16, as the next generation of innovators and inventors.
Marvel’s aptitude test – called ‘More Heroes Needed’ – takes you through a series of simple questions and challenges. The goal is to figure out which Marvel character you resemble most. I’m pretty sure mine were secretly rooting for Black Panther, but they both seemed happy with their results.
If you have younger ones, it’s best if you do these puzzles alongside your child so you can crack them together. When I asked Jed if he had superpowers, he was suitably cagey. After all, a real Super Hero doesn’t unmask himself at the drop of a hat.
Watch the video to see the babes discover their Marvel alter egos.
Be an Engineering Super Hero
What I like about the aptitude test is that it shows you don’t need to be a super-geek to be an engineering Super Hero. You just need qualities like curiosity, resourcefulness, the ability to solve problems, and work as a team. I was impressed by the boys’ Super Hero summaries, as they do reflect their individual personalities and strengths.
After taking the aptitude test, kids can download their Super Hero certificate as proof of their planet-saving skills. And do encourage your child to click READ ON to discover how they can apply their natural super abilities to the field of engineering. They’ll learn how engineers in the real world help solve global problems, like fighting off climate change or protecting our oceans. Just head to the Engineering Super Heroes page to meet real life heroes: such as Josh the ‘Catastrophe Consultant’, a qualified structural engineer who helps rescue people from collapsed buildings after disasters!
There are a wide range of inspiring personal stories on the site, including several by female engineers. I’m happy that the Year of Engineering is pushing for more cultural and gender diversity in this field. At present, the workforce is 88 percent male and 92 percent white. Definitely time to shake things up!
When I was a kid, I was kind of (alright, extremely) maths and science-phobic. I knew next to nothing about engineering. If I had to describe an engineer, it would be a man in a hard hat and a high-vis jacket. It’s important to teach kids today that engineering is one of the most stimulating, creative and limitless fields.
From building rockets, to making steam trains run, designing the tallest towers, to the latest innovations like 3D printing. You can engineer a mechanical heart. The bubbles in a chocolate bar? Yup, someone engineered that too.
Ask the Babes – What Does an Engineer Do?
Jed, age 9
‘An engineer fixes things, like cars or boats, and has shops. He can build or fix bikes, planes and most things. He makes stuff work. It’s a very useful job.’
Ezra, age 12
‘An engineer is a very productive job because most things you see in the world around us come from engineers and designers. If you think about it, most of what we have now, we owe to an engineer’s hard work. So I think they should get more recognition.
An engineer uses tools to repair, build or create. They also create more tools. Engineering opens up a lot of opportunities, from working in the Royal Navy, to repairing cars on Formula One, even building film sets and stages. It links into so many other professions, it’s a very creative field of work. Engineering uses lots of values like collaboration, creativity and thinking up new ideas.’
Would you like to be an engineer?
‘I guess so. I’m pretty good with my hands.’ He adds with a cheeky smile: ‘Also, I wouldn’t mind being a video game designer, that’s a field of engineering too!’
Alright Ezra, I’ll allow it.
Visit the Year of Engineering activities zone on the website for tons of family-friendly STEM games and ideas. You can take the Marvel and Year of Engineering aptitude test here: http://moreheroesneeded.com/
Follow #inspireanengineer on social media to keep up with this ongoing campaign.
**This is a paid collaboration with the Year of Engineering and Disney, all opinions are solely those of Babes about Town.