DETI Inspire at UWE Bristol have partnered with I’m an Engineer to host an online sustainability and engineering youth summit this October, ahead of the UN climate change summit COP26 taking place in Glasgow this November.
The Youth Engineering for Environmental Sustainability Summit (YEESS) will enable young people from the West of England region to connect with local engineers and policymakers, to explore how engineering can help tackle the Climate Emergency and discuss the interconnected solutions needed for future sustainability.
On the 11, 12 and 13 October, sixth form students from across the region will come together to discuss potential solutions, using the engineering design process to explore ideas.
Through a series of videos and live chats, students can visualise what climate solutions look like, from engineering innovation to societal change, discover what green jobs and career paths are available, and have the opportunity to ask questions of our four West of England political leaders, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, Councillor Toby Savage of South Gloucestershire Council, Councillor Sarah Warren of Bath and North East Somerset Council, and West of England Mayor Dan Norris.
Each evening will also see a green jobs panel to discuss routes into these industries. This will also form part of Bristol Technology Festival on Tuesday 12th October at 19:30 – find out more about the live talk here.
Engineering Open House Day is all about highlighting the important roles that engineers play in everyday life, with participating venues and organisations demonstrating the creativity and excitement behind engineering careers.
We Make Our Future is an interactive, educational & entertaining science show for the next generation of Digital Engineers.
Explorer Dome, in collaboration with the DETI Inspire team at UWE, have created a new experience to celebrate the ingenuity of human engineering, address current issues around Climate Change and introduce Digital Engineering as a relevant and attainable aspiration for all young people.
We Make Our Future is a presenter-led experience which can be delivered inside Explorer Dome in schools or remotely via Zoom.
Full-dome digital projections allow us to visit engineering marvels from history and explore the pros and cons of modern life. Industry, technology and invention have progressed civilisation, but at what cost? Get to know how the Engineering Design Process and application of digital technology can make the world a better place for us all.
The show is aimed at children aged 8 – 14 and their families, but all ages are welcome! If you would like to join us for this free viewing of the show this July 23rd, please register your place here.
Bristol Robofest is an annual city wide initiative taking place in June to celebrate the UK Festival of Robotics and raise the profile of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) in our local communities.
This year, robots popped up in various locations throughout the city, including the University of Bristol’s Micro-Campus at Wellspring Settlement which played host to several robotics inspired workshops where 24 enthusiastic 10 – 14 year olds from the local area took the opportunity to explore and play with MicroBit BitBots, and Thymio Robots. They learnt about cutting edge research in the field of Swarm Robotics, while honing their skills in programming and problem solving.
Over at the Old Library in Easton, Pepper the robot gave a warm welcome to all of the visiting families. Over 100 visitors took part in family-friendly robot workshops which were on offer throughout the day, led by researchers from the Bristol Robotics Lab, with support from FARSCOPE PhD students and MSc students from UWE Bristol.
Children were able to get hands on with lots of different robots including Naos, Thymios, Vectors and of course Pepper! There was plenty of programming robots and exploring how they move and interact with each other and with people too.
At at UWE Bristol School of Engineering, the DETI Inspire team had a fun day building robots for the Prototype and Play lab, getting the space in tip top shape for hosting school groups next academic year.
The team also partnered with Explorer Dome to host a virtual viewing of their new interactive show, We Make Our Future, in celebration of this year’s regional Lego League teams, who have been busy building and programming their Lego robots to complete this year’s challenges.
The technology and engineering sectors have some of the biggest skills shortages in the UK, but also some of the greatest opportunities for future jobs. We want to proactively include as many people as possible in the future of digital.
We will be hosting several listening workshops throughout June and July, for different groups of individuals currently underrepresented or underserved in engineering. Each workshop will provide opportunities for you to share your voice, participate in discussions and network with like-minded people.
The DETI Inspire team at UWE Bristol will be hosting an online knowledge sharing session for local engineering employers and employees, to share their experiences of hosting virtual work experience events throughout 2020/21.
The past year has certainly been a challenging one and we have all had to adapt to new ways of working and learning online. We would like to bring together people from local engineering businesses and education institutions to share experiences and learnings from the past year with regards to providing online engineering career engagement activities and work experience events, so we can all deliver impactful, inclusive and accessible engagements in the future, be that in an online or blended environment.
Delivering engineering careers engagement and work experience in a virtual environment – knowledge sharing session
UWE Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Mechatronics, Dr Appolinaire Etoundi, recently delivered a fantastic talk for the Association for Science Education, engaging local teachers and STEM educators with the story of his engineering pathway and his research into bio-inspired prosthetic joints for amputees.
Engineers above all else are problem-solvers, and there are a lot of problems these days that we have to face.
In his talk, Appolinaire spoke about his route into engineering and how his passion started at an early age with a love for Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs and the small self-assembly toys found inside. A great reminder that children’s scientific curiosity should be nurtured form an early age!
Appolinaire also shared his career pathway, starting with his study of mechanical engineering and leading to his research combining mechanical engineering and robotics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. He spoke about a chance meeting with Rio Paralympic Triathlon gold medal winner Andy Lewis, and how this inspired him to change his research focus to robotic rehabilitation devices such as prosthetic joints and limbs.
Currently in the UK there are 5-6000 major limb amputations every year.
This area of Appolinaire’s research is heavily inspired by systems found in nature and these bio-inspired robotics have the potential to greatly improve the efficiency of current rehabilitation/prosthetic devices and improve the lives of people around the world.
Appolinaire’s passion for his research and how it can be of real benefit to people is truly inspiring. You can watch the full talk here:
The DETI Inspire programme recently teamed up with Primary Engineer to provide online teacher CPD sessions for 10 primary schools in the West of England region.
These one-day online sessions supported teachers to deliver a whole class, curriculum mapped engineering project, in this instance, building an electric car.
Primary Engineer supplied all participants with the materials required to run the session, so they were able to follow along in real time and build their own cars with support from their session leader.
Teachers from Ashton Gate Primary, Horfield CEVC Primary, Little Stoke Primary, St Werburghs Primary, Parson Street Primary, Broomhill Junior, St Barnabas Primary, Wellesley Primary, Nova Primary, and Barton Hill Academy all attended the sessions online.
Feedback from the participants was really positive, and we were very pleased to note that the new online delivery method worked well.
Excellent training. Explanation was very thorough and the trainer was incredibly patient and supportive. The resources available and next steps are incredible and allows the school to actively participate in STEM with confidence.
Primary Engineer Electric Car CPD Participant
The DETI Inspire programme will now provide links to industry, giving schools the opportunity to be partnered with a professional engineer from a local company, to support sessions back in school with pupils in the classroom.
Connections with diverse engineers are incredibly important for young children, helping to build their science capital and challenge common stereotypes. This is why the DETI Inspire programme launched their Diversity Demonstrator – a network of diverse engineering role models to champion engineering public engagement in the West of England.
We’re really looking forward to being able to meet our local teachers in person again and support sessions like this together, but it’s great to see activities like this working in a virtual environment too. A silver lining to this lockdown is that online events can sometimes allow more people to access the training and support they need, when they need it.
If you are a school looking for support with your STEM activities, or an engineer who would like to connect with local schools, please contact the DETI Inspire team for information about our current and future outreach opportunities.
We’d like to thank This is Engineering for use of images from their public image library that aims to better represent what engineers and engineering really look like. The feature image for this blog of a young woman using a VR headset is copyright of the Institution of Engineering and Technology & Callum Wood Ford.
Bristol Technology Festival takes place online, 9th – 15th November 2020
Bristol’s Technology Festival was born in 2019 seeking to showcase the sheer breadth of technology that had been developed in the local ecosystem, and share the stories of those entrepreneurs, engineers and creatives behind the technology with the people of the city, and further afield. It seeks to destroy any barriers between technology businesses, their suppliers, educational and charity organisations and the residents of the community that they live and work in.
Events like these are more important now than ever before, with the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changing how we work and live, technologies are playing a crucial role in keeping our communities functional and connected in a time of lockdowns and quarantines.
This year’s festival will be delivered virtually. With a jam packed schedule of workshops, webinars, discussion panels, inspirational talks and networking events, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Themes for this year include diversity, inclusivity and sustainability and the DETI Inspire team from the Engineering Design and Mathematics department at UWE Bristol will be delivering events throughout the week.
Digital Engineering Careers Event, Mon 9th – Fri 13th November
The Digital Engineering Technology Innovation (DETI) Inspire team will be delivering a week-long careers fair for children aged 14+, themed on digital engineering.
The event will be hosted on the Like To Be online platform, where students will have access to inspirational videos from a diverse group of engineering professionals, sharing stories of their engineering journey, exploring the digital tools and technologies they use within their role and discussing how engineering can make a difference to people’s lives and help solve real-world problems.
Alongside these careers talks, students will have the opportunity to explore potential employment and development opportunities on offer from local employers, chat with real-life engineers and ask questions during several live Q&A sessions being held throughout the week, including a session from EDM’s very own Maryam Lamere, Doctoral Researcher and Associate Lecturer, who will be ready to answer questions about her research on the innovative Pee Power project, a technology that converts urine and other types of wastewater into electricity.
Supporting Women and Girls in Engineering, Thursday 12th November
Only 12% of the UK’s engineers are women. Research shows that girls need to see women succeeding in STEM to feel that STEM is a potential career path for them.
Women Like Me is a peer mentoring and outreach project aimed at boosting female representation in engineering. The project pairs senior women engineers with junior women engineers to give them mentoring support as they start out in their engineering careers.
In turn, junior women undertake engineering education outreach in schools and at public events in the Bristol and Bath area. Engineering is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline, and this project aims to support girls and women to make a difference in society.
Join us for the launch event of Women Like Me 2020/21! Find out how the project will be running this year and what digital outreach opportunities are available. Network with other women engineers, and listen to inspirational speakers, including Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol and Lead for the DETI Inspire project, and Sarah Behenna from the WISE Campaign. You can sign up to the event here.
If you would like more information on either of these upcoming events, or would like to be involved with similar events in the future, please contact the DETI Inspire team. A full line up of the Bristol Technology Festival events can be found here.
The same great festival, just a little bit different
Bath Digital Festival is happening! Get yourself ready for one of the biggest celebrations of digital and tech in the South West. Make sure to block out your diary and join in the fun from 20th – 24th October 2020.
You might not be able to soak up the sights and smells of our historical and innovative city but, this virtual festival promises a fun-packed online programme for the entire family to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
This year events will focus on recovery, skills and talent. Plus, the festival team will be launching their brand new Digital Skills Exchange programme. So, if you’re looking to sharpen some skills, wondering who’s recruiting at the moment or new to the tech scene, there’s an event for you.
Learn to code, join an interactive workshop on artificial intelligence, discuss the modern ethics, join a masterclass in social media marketing or check out the latest tech. The online programme offers plenty for everyone to take part in and enjoy. View the full line up here.
Staff in the Engineering Design and Mathematics (EDM) department here at UWE Bristol have already signed up to several events, and our Skills team for the Digital Engineering Technology Innovation initiative (DETI) are particularly excited about the launch of the Digital Skills Exchange, a programme aiming to tackle the skills and jobs gap in Bath and the South West, by supporting individuals stepping in to a digital career and helping business to find the talent they need.
Careers fairs are traditionally a face-to-face experience, where students can explore the many different stalls of local employers, have a chat and ask any questions they may have. As with most other in-person events, these careers fairs have not been possible during recent months and their absence is being felt by many schools.
Fortunately there are digital platforms available to help schools and their students access these careers events online. The EDM department at UWE Bristol have partnered up with such a platform to offer schools and students in the South West a way to connect with local employers in the engineering industry, as part of their work to inspire the future generation of digital engineers with the Digital Engineering Technology Innovation (DETI) initiative.
Like To Be is a career event network that brings together students, educators, employers and professionals to offer unique digital career experiences.
Their platform allows students to engage directly with employers, watch employee speakers share real-life insight, ask questions and explore potential work opportunities – all online. Employers can share their brand and career opportunities with student members via their profile page or by hosting a careers event.
Using this online platform, the DETI Inspire team within EDM, will be hosting a series of digital engineering career events throughout the academic year, the first of which will take place next month during Bristol Technology Festival 9th-15th November.
The event is aimed at young people aged 16-18 and will explore the role of digital engineering in creating a sustainable future. With access to the event remaining open for the entire week, students will have the opportunity to watch inspiring videos from a variety of engineers, ask questions via a live chat function and explore a wide range of local employer profiles.
If you are an engineering employer or professional and would like to showcase the careers on offer at your place of work, or if you are a school who would like to attend one of our careers events, please get in touch with our project coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org