A UTC (University Technical College) is a new type of school for 14-19 year olds who have decided that their future careers are in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). As well as the core subjects they also get the opportunity to choose a specialism and do employer projects.
The NBN partnered with Berkeley Green UTC to give the UTC Digital students a real life project to help prepare them for their future careers. The idea was to find an innovative digital approach to engage young people into Citizen Science, and the majority designed an app for recording data in a fun manner.
The Berkeley Green UTC has dual specialisms of Engineering and Digital (Cyber Security), but there are also UTCs with specialisms of Life Sciences and Environmental Sciences (amongst others). The destinations for graduates from a UTC include University, Apprenticeships or straight out into industry.
All the students got the opportunity to present their projects to the CEO of the NBN, Dr Jo Judge, who was very impressed with the standard of work the students produced.
“I was really impressed with, not only the digital skills shown by the students, but also by the professional way they presented and communicated. The ideas that the students came up with were very innovative and fulfilled the brief in multiple creative ways. There were some fantastic young people doing the project and you can see the impact that a learning environment like the UTC can have by showing the synergy between their studies and their interests”
Jo Judge, CEO NBN
As well as developing their digital skills the students also get the opportunity to develop their employability skills. In the time after the project the digital students also had an increased awareness of the importance of Ecology which they were studying in Biology at the same time. Although they will be progressing into the Digital sector they are likely to be the developers and technical support that everyone will be using in the future.
“Projects such as this are vital to develop the technical and softer skills that our students will need in the future. The NBN gave us a challenging project and were very generous in the support they gave us for the duration. We are always amazed by the innovative ways that our students approach these projects and the effort put in shows the value the students give to these employer relevant projects.”
Andrew Keenan, Assistant Principal Berkeley Green UTC
The overall winners in different age categories were: Pip Crane, Thomas Durn, Joseph Jones, Andrew Whatling, Ciaran Whitehouse, Ilya Kiselev, Max Hedges, William Jones, Johnathan Bishop, Anya Birch, Leon Coles and Josh Fuller-Neale.
If anyone has any Digital or Engineering projects that they would like to put to students then contact the UTC and they would be happy to explore the possibilities.