TeenTech – what’s it like to be a technology ambassador?
10 September 2012, by Zoe Cunningham
I recently learnt about TeenTech, the great event to get teenagers interested in technology, run by Science broadcaster Maggie Philbin and Chris Dodson, Chairman of the Institute of Directors (South).
I was so taken with the idea that I volunteered to go along as a technology ambassador. Each school group of ten children is assigned an “ambassador” who works in the industry and whose primary aim is to give the children a human face to associate with science and technology.
I was assigned to Clapton Girls’ School and the ten girls in my group seemed like a very switched on bunch. I was told later that it’s known to be a good school and “they win everything”, which they did indeed do!
As a first task the teens were asked to draw a scientist, to uncover the hidden prejudices that they already had. When Maggie asked who had drawn a male scientist a few of the girls on my table raised their hands to a cry of “shame!” from thir teachers.
The second activity was to design a mobile phone app. Each school was divided into two teams, with the five students on each team having to organise themselves to brainstorm an app, design an icon and write a short presentation to explain their idea.
The rest of the day was spent looking at stands run by industry volunteers and undertaking challenges. My favourite stand was Pavegen – a company who have invented a paving stone that converts the kinetic energy of your foot hitting the ground into electricity – and my favourite activity was run by engineering firm Atkins. The engineers at Atkins had constructed a mini construction challenge using a series of posts. My girls did brilliantly at this and went on to win the fastest time.
I had a brilliant day at TeenTech and I already work in technology – I can only imagine what it would have been like if I’d been able to go as a teenager.
TeenTech are running further events in 2012 in other regions of the UK. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Helen Wilson at www.teentechevent.com.
This post originally appeared on Girlygeekdom.com.