The Internet of Curious Things: End of term updates about #InspireAnEngineer

It’s been a busy term since we launched events and activities through our successful Engineering Education Grant Scheme submission.

Workshops have an emphasis on engineered solutions within the context of the environment, and the fundamental aim is always to inspire our next generation of engineers.

For some children, that’s been a Harry Potter themed ‘Data-driven Goblet of Fire’ when they’ve designed and built projects to collect environmental data in a fun way to support problem solving.

For everybody involved though, the purpose and real world relevance to learning has been matched to an area of interest through planning with each school.

Here's our termly report in numbers:

  • 6 events delivered
  • Over 240 children have participated in a workshop activity
  • 49% of children are girls, 51% boys
  • Over 150 environmental data sets have been created
  • Children from Y4, Y5, Y6, Y7 and Y8 classes have been involved in the programme
  • 98% of the children have said that they've learnt new things
  • 98% have evaluated their enjoyment of the programme in the top two tiers

Word cloud made with WordItOut

A summary above, taken from comments on the evaluation feedback at the end of each workshop.

And from a teachers perspective?

"A huge thank you for coming in today - the kids absolutely loved it and the Headteacher caught me after school to say that children had gone up to them in the playground after school to enthuse over what they had done today!"

"Thank you for all your work today. It was great; the kids and teachers thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. Hope we can organise something again."

We're confident that the 'Internet of Curious Things' can be a catalyst for more data-driven activities in school, and we're supporting teachers through a PD programme to be able to share approaches and best practice.

For some, that's extending projects across the STEM disciplines or collaborating on creative projects with colleagues outside of engineering and computing.

Or this example from St Marks CofE Primary in Salford, with peer to peer and sibling learning partner activities at one of their after school maker clubs!

This term we've also been working with the CAS Manchester team and contributed to their recent CAS Girls day with some workshops for Y7 and Y8 students. A great event with lots of opportunities for shared projects with students and adults collaborating.

We talk about removing barriers to learning, so it's great to hear about another new invention from a young person using the hardware and software for the first time.

Alongside more school workshops for 7-14 yr olds, we will also deliver intergenerational community learning events after Easter. Watch out for registration links to these next events:

At Wigan STEAM on Wednesday 11th April

At Crossgates Library in Leeds on Saturday 19th May

As a starter to gauge how the new resources could excite audiences through STEM innovations, we took a workshop to the PiParty celebrations at Leeds Raspberry Jam:

3 lanterns lit with a data driven led light Data-driven creative solutions

raspberry pi computer with wearable tech and envirosense add on attached to collect temperature and humidity data Building and testing with Raspberry Pi

Our grant from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) allows us to deliver this ‘Internet of Curious Things’ programme to schools in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire this Spring.

3 teens building data driven lanterns out of laser cut paper designs

Get in touch if you'd like to know more.

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