Engineering ambassador Alex Evans doing her part to encourage the new generation. Photo: Harri Jordan.

Inspiring the next generation of engineers


Nelson engineer Alex Evans loved maths growing up and says that engineering, for her, is just like “one big puzzle”.

So, when she first read the newsletter from Engineering New Zealand asking for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) ambassadors she signed up straight away.

“A lot of kids find maths boring and don’t see the real-world application,” says Alex, who works for Tonkin and Taylor as part of its water management and surveying team.

“They think ‘when am I ever going to use algebra in the real world?’ But as engineers and scientists we use it all the time”.

Now, with help from professionals like Alex, young Kiwis with a passion for space and science are being encouraged to follow their dreams.

Partnering with local schools, these industry professionals are working with students and teachers as part of The Wonder Project Rocket Challenge.

The project sees children designing, building and launching their very own water rocket.

Alex says she loves “seeing the light-bulb go on and them say ‘I get it’.”

Engineering New Zealand are seeking out more industry professionals to get involved in the STEM project.

“There’s a real shortage of engineers and scientists we need to encourage the new generation to step up,” Alex says.

More information on how to become a STEM ambassador can be found here.