On 15th November 2017 we held TeenTech, Surrey, which is a one-day science festival that inspires young people to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Co-founded by Chris Dodson (previously Chair of IoD South, now Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire) and Maggie Philbin of tomorrow’s World fame, Teen Tech was attended by local employers including NEXEN, Air Products, Ambulance Service, Arcadis, Atkins, BAE, Bank of England, BCS Berkshire, British Army, Brooklands College, CBSbutler, Fulcrum Data Forensics, Frimley Health Foundation trust, Gold-I, GSK, HEON, Institute for Research in Schools, JVC, McLaren, MERU, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Sanofi, SEPnet, SODEXO, SSTL, Student Works, Technicsgroup, Thames Valley Rep Rap User Group, Thames Water, The Pirbright Institute, University of Surrey (School of Veterinary Medicine, Astrophysics
Department, Physics Department), and Xtrac, who interacted with over 300 12-13 year olds, inspiring them about the exciting and rewarding careers that await them in the world of work.
In the afternoon the event was opened up to 6th formers and students from colleges of Further Education and I was delighted to chair a panel discussion on career opportunities in the rapidly growing area of Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security. Laura McBrown spent the day as a Business Ambassador with one of the schools, while other members of the IoD committee, Rob May, Richard Maybury, Alex Sanderson and Jeremy Frost, came along to offer encouragement and support.
The event got great feedback from students and teachers alike with:
- 100% of teachers agreeing they would recommend their school attend next year!
- 70% of students said they were interested in pursuing a career in STEM after they had been to the event compared to just 49% beforehand
- 88% of students agreed that following their visit to TeenTech they are more likely to continue their studies in science and or a maths related subject.
And feedback from employers was equally positive with such comments as “Excellent day! The students were very interested; asked loads of questions and participated very well. Very impressed!” and “Good opportunity to reach multiple schools”.