The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) has welcomed TV scientist Dallas Campbell who played host to a TeenTech Innovation Day on Friday 8 November designed to interest young people in careers in science and technology.
Dallas, who specialises in engineering, space, geography and the natural environment is a regular presenter of Stargazing Live, the Gadget Show and the BBC1’s Bang Goes the Theory. The event, led by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in partnership with North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council, and Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council saw around 160 Year 9 students from local schools getting involved with challenges as part of an exciting carousel of activities led by organisations including the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Triumph and Intrepid Control Systems.
Working face to face with over 10,000 young people every year, TeenTech was founded by former Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin to help young people understand contemporary career opportunities and the skills they will need to get involved. The organisation is particularly effective at encouraging girls and students from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider careers in technology, engineering, construction and the applied sciences.
The award-winning charity has received funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to run a series of activities to showcase the opportunities within technology and engineering with a focus on automotive technology.
TeenTech Founder, Maggie Philbin, who grew up in nearby Leicestershire said, “We want to make sure that young people in this area really understand they can become the innovators of tomorrow. Our programmes not only showcase the very best science and technology but help students see how they might very much enjoy working in these areas. Making sure young people in the region have exposure to the fast-changing world of work is particularly important to me. The response from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, the MTI, the councils and the LLEP has been very positive. We’ve all worked together to create an amazing experience for young people.”
At the event, young people were exposed to the growing opportunities across technology and engineering in a fast-changing world. Students had the chance to get hands on with the latest technology, took part in practical challenges with employers, apprentices and graduates and learned how they too could become the innovators of tomorrow.
They participated in lively workshops that offered an insight into an exciting industry and had the unique opportunity to explore the transport solutions of the future, from driverless vehicles to cybersecurity. Organisations including HORIBA MIRA, Triumph, Autins and the University of Leicester were on hand to provide career advice.
Young people from Midland Academies Trust schools including Heath Lane Academy, Hartshill School, the George Eliot School and the Nuneaton Academy were joined by others from Higham Lane School, the Queen Elizabeth Academy and Polesworth school plus many more.
Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “The TeenTech programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain inspiration for their future careers. They may not have considered choosing engineering or technology, but this type of event demonstrates that solving problems can be fun and hugely rewarding. On behalf of our partners HORIBA MIRA and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, a heartfelt thank you for staging this exciting day.”
The MTI is an innovative collaboration between education and industry led by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College designed to address skills shortages in the new disruptive technologies surrounding connected and autonomous vehicles and electric cars. Working with its further and higher education partners and HORIBA MIRA, the MTI offers a full spectrum of training opportunities from apprenticeships to bespoke and commercial courses for businesses from across the sector, from SMEs to large organisations.
Lisa Bingley, Operations Director for the MTI said, “The future of the UK depends on skills in science, technology, engineering and maths. We need young people to be inspired by STEM careers so that we have a workforce able to overcome the challenges now facing the transport industry with the development of autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicle technology, and the challenges brought by electrification, cybersecurity and emissions.”
The MIRA Technology Institute was built with a £9.5m allocation from the Local Growth Fund, a pot of government funding awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) for projects that benefit the local area and economy. The MTI is located within the MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone near Nuneaton and Hinckley.