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GBBO star shares tips on how to engineer the perfect Christmas gingerbread house

16 December 2016


Great British Bake Off finalist and aerospace engineer Andrew Smyth has teamed up with the Institution of Engineering and Technology and ITN Productions to produce a short film on the engineering behind baking the perfect gingerbread house in a bid to help inspire the next generation of engineers.

Andrew visits the IET’s London home, Savoy Place, to talk about his career in engineering and the need to inspire more young people to become engineers. The film also shows him working with three young people to engineer a gingerbread house, explaining the links between engineering and baking.

Andrew’s top tips for engineering the perfect gingerbread house include:

  1. Plan it before hand – use cardboard to cut out the shapes of the gingerbread and stick them together to check it works. You can then use the cardboard to cut out your gingerbread when it’s baked. 
  2. Use tabs in the gingerbread to help slot in the parts to help make it stronger.
  3. If you want it to be really strong, use caramel to stick the gingerbread pieces together.

Talking in the film, Andrew said: “To be able to show what an engineer can do outside of work and to break some stereotypes has been really great. I’m really enthusiastic about reaching out to young people and showing what a career in engineering can offer.

“I’d say to young people, if you are curious about how the world works or questioning why something is the way it is, and you want to make a difference, then engineering is absolutely the career for you.”

The IET hopes that by showing how engineering and baking cross over, it will help capture the imagination and curiosity of young people.

Demand for engineering in the UK far exceeds supply and only 9 percent of UK engineers are women. 

Research commissioned by the IET as part of its Engineer a Better World campaign shows that 54% of children said they didn’t know anything about engineering careers. The research highlighted that girls are twice as likely as boys to say that they are not interested in finding out about careers in engineering. However, when shown more about what engineering could entail, 71% of children said they would be interested in pursuing a career in engineering.

More activities set to inspire future engineers are being planned for 2017.

 

Notes to editors:

The short film is available to watch on the ITN Productions website.