"It was the best day because now I know what I'm going to be when I grow up."
Our Education team regularly visit schools and deliver lessons to inspire girls and boys about tech careers. The lessons cover topics like how tech is used in cyber security, eSports and gaming, or to help the planet. We introduce children to new and emerging tech and help them to explore related careers.
We tailor our lessons based on how much tech the school has access to. Some schools have limited resources, so we deliver ‘low tech’ lessons. Whereas in other schools every child has their own iPad. It’s therefore easier to integrate apps or online resources or even augmented reality into the lessons, making them more engaging and interactive.
After each session we collect feedback from pupils and teachers to measure impact. Feedback on these sessions was overwhelmingly positive. When asked how we could improve the sessions, many pupils suggested that we could bring tech with us to use in the sessions, as many schools don’t have access to this.
MCC Digital, an Apple authorised education specialist and reseller, approached us to partner on this project. They provided us with iPads and Sphero Indi robots, along with training on how to use them.
Together we launched a pilot to explore the impact of taking tech into ‘low tech’ schools that are social mobility cold spots, or that have a high number of students receiving free school meals. We have been working together to improve access to this technology, and to educate students about tech careers.
Poppy Patel, our Learning Design and Delivery Officer, explains what happens in each session:
“I start each session by asking the children if they think they would like a career in technology in the future. The session then focuses on showing the children how technology is being used in areas relating to some of their hobbies and interests, including caring for the planet, sports, and entertainment and the arts. During the session, the children complete a range of fun and creative challenges linked to these areas using the iPads and Indi robots, and learn about related careers.
“I love seeing the children enjoying using the tech and realising that the things that they love could lead them into a technology career one day. When I ask the children who might like a career in technology at the end of the session, it’s great to see the difference that the session has made in changing their perceptions and showing them what’s out there!”
We have now visited five schools, and delivered our Tech Careers Inspiration session to over 250 Year 5 children in the West Midlands, and the results have been powerful. We’ve also had great feedback from teachers:
“Year 5 had the most amazing time during the #TechSheCan sessions. They learnt about careers in technology, worked at some coding challenge and created augmented reality images.” Year 5 teacher
“Highly engaging session which the children thoroughly enjoyed. It showed them a wide range of careers that they didn’t realise were out there and they were still talking about the car challenge days later.” Teacher
Alex Langton, Head of Marketing at MCC Digital said:
“We’re incredibly proud of the support we are providing for our first official charity partner Tech She Can. Ensuring they had the correct hardware was step one, but we wanted to maximise the impact of these sessions by providing key training to Poppy and her team, and we can already see some fantastic results! - we're looking forward to seeing what great things can be achieved with iPad and the incredible resources"
We are looking forward to completing the pilot early next year and building on its success with phase two. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media for further updates.