I was reading an article by Dr Lesley Paterson in the IET magazine that looked into the debate that Engineering should be taken out of STEM because Engineering is different in that its about using those Science, Technology and Mathematics skills to help people.
So I thought I’d mention some good example of this.
I was introduced to Wateraid by my late Aunt Nadine. She was enthusiastic about their work as it allowed young girls to spend their time attending school rather than carrying water. Wateraid helps and teaches communities build pumps, wells and toilets using local materials. This reduces disease and time spent fetching water. They also have some excellent illustrations and explainations on how simple water pumps work and what their capabilities are.
It was the Model Engineers Workshop magazine where I first heard of Remap. Their technical volunteers use ingenuity and skills to help people with disabilities to achieve much-desired independence in some aspect of their lives, or to enjoy leisure opportunities previously closed to them. Their adaptions and creations are often simple such as a fold up seat that allows someone to keep doing an active bus driving job rather than being moved into a desk based role.
Fixperts is a social project that aims to share knowledge on fixing. They do this by teaming up a designer or maker with a filmmaker and someone who has something to fix. These problems could be anything from how to quickly access rain wear whilst cycling to how to fill a Pita Bread with only one hand.
The Controller project is about simple hacks and enhancements to gaming controllers to allow people with disabilities to play too. Caleb Kraft adds loops, bigger buttons and handles to controls to make them easier to use. For people with muscular problems he makes the buttons easier to press. These simple adaptions mean that disabled people can play and socialise with their friends.
These are just a few of the many ways Engineers help people every day.