On Tuesday 4th July 2023, 120 students from nine local schools took part in the TeenTech Milton Keynes Festival at the newly opened South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) building in Bletchley.
This festival brought together local and national companies with young people to engage in hands-on activities aimed at opening their eyes to the fantastic opportunities in science, technology and engineering. Companies taking part included Network Rail, Atkins, Domino’s, Nat West, FCDO Services, Bletchley Park, Niftylift, Anglian Water, SMC Pneumatics and staff from the SCIoT (part of Milton Keynes College Group).
Throughout the day, students spent meaningful time with company representatives and took part in tasks and challenges to provide them with a much greater understanding of careers in the different sectors. The students also engaged in an innovation session, where they developed their own ideas in a variety of areas such as health, transport and the environment to make life better, simpler, safer or more fun. They can then enter their projects into the annual TeenTech Awards which celebrates the best ideas from around the UK.
The festival was presented by TeenTech CEO and Co-founder Maggie Philbin and technology journalist and author Kate Russell, who also provided a session on AI.
TeenTech festivals provide the environment for inspirational experiences which can be life changing for the young people and allow companies to connect with potential future employees in a meaningful way.
Co-founder of TeenTech and former Tomorrow’s World reporter Maggie Philbin OBE said: “TeenTech has been involved in the South Central Institute of Technology since its inception as a founding partner. I am thrilled that our Milton Keynes Festival was the first schools event in the new SCIoT building – it was amazing to welcome students, teachers and businesses for a day of amazing activities.”
“What a brilliant day it was! We were delighted to have so many incredibly excited, creative and really imaginative young people join us at TeenTech. These young people really are our future, and giving them an opportunity like this where they can understand the technologies that are coming down the line and the opportunities that are out there for them has been fantastic”.
Rebecca Myrie, Head of Community Engagement at Milton Keynes College Group, said: “We’ve supported TeenTech festivals in Milton Keynes since 2019 and are so proud that we’ve been able to actually host this year’s event. It’s fantastic to play a part in inspiring local students to learn more about science, technology and engineering and raise their awareness of opportunities available to them in these areas for further study and employment.
“The event was a huge success – it was incredible to not only see the fantastic new space at the SCIoT in Bletchley put to good use, but to also see young people engaging in a huge range of activities and even developing their own ideas for how technology can be used to improve people’s lives”.
Toby Healey from Van Dyke Upper School in Leighton Buzzard commented: “TeenTech has introduced a range of different activities to students who’ve not come across them in the classroom. Everyone has been quite blown away by the environment at the SCIoT and the facilities and technology available from the virtual reality headsets to the main ‘hub’ space. It’s been a wonderful day.”
Renuka Patel from Lord Grey Academy in Bletchley added: “Today has been really useful and important for our students. Our Year 8 and Year 9 students have got a lot out of the sessions and workshops at the TeenTech Festival, they’ve been very interactive and I think they’ve thoroughly enjoyed the day”.