If you fancy yourself a paddle-pop architect, or a bit of a McGyver with plastic bottles, perhaps Engineering is for you.

Students from all over Brisbane visited QUT today to get some hands on engineering experience, as industry warns of a critical skills shortage.

Rebecca Forsyth reports.

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When students descended on QUT today, they were met with a raft of challenges designed to test their ingenuity, and spark a passion for science and engineering.

Students left behind musty science textbooks and pushed hands first into a series of practical activities.

Briggette Yap, 2nd Year Engineering Student: “Basically, today is just to promote engineering and science, and get people in to show them what engineering is all about.”

Facing a bridge-building contest, students used paddle pop sticks and super glue to construct a small-scale masterpiece of civil engineering.

Vox 1: “My group’s bridge was the worst but that’s okay.”

In another challenge, students designed simple water filtration systems using materials available in developing countries.

While it all looks like fun and games, there’s a serious motive behind the event.

Angela Vescovi, Built Environment and Engineering: “We’ve found that high school students are studying maths and science a lot less so numbers are dropping.”

Vox 2: “It’s definitely got me even more interested in it.”

Students will play a pivotal role in designing a $230 million science and technology precinct opening at QUT in 2012.

With an engineering shortfall of almost thirty thousand professionals, the race is on to draw students in now to feed the industry’s future.

Rebecca Forsyth, QUT News.