January saw the first of Engine Shed’s Tech Tours, a free day of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) activities for schools in the West of England, in partnership with BJSS and Ultraleap.

Tech Tours is part of Engine Shed’s Diverse Workforce for the Future programme which works with partners to help raise awareness of opportunities for young people and engage them with the workplace.

The tours aim to inspire primary and early secondary school children about the diversity of creative and tech jobs in the region, and to ignite in them a long-term interest in STEAM subjects to pursue their career goals.

Each tour includes a coding workshop from BJSS and DigiLocal, a business workshop from SETsquared Bristol and a visit to Ultraleap’s Experience Room, where pupils experience the magic of mid-air haptics and 3D hand tracking.

The day concludes with a tour around Brunel’s historic Engine Shed building where the children can see all the different types of working environments on offer, from office spaces to coworking and flexible day spaces, and witness some exciting tech business in action.

Lorraine Fairbanks, Partnerships Manager at Engine Shed, said: “We are so pleased to be able to offer these new tours with some fantastic partners. We aim to give young people inspiration that there are exciting tech and creative jobs in the region and to show them how to access free resources to continue their journey into these sectors.”

Konrad Empacher, BJSS Head of Delivery, said: “We want a balanced tech sector filled with opportunities. We are doing our part by inspiring young people to participate in our industry. By partnering with Engine Shed for Tech Tours, we will inspire even more young people to learn more about technology and ensure that they are not excluded from the digital future.”

Tom Carter, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Ultraleap added: “As a company that was born out of the University of Bristol, with firm roots in the area, we’re proud to support initiatives that help raise awareness of the opportunities tech can provide for all young people. We hope to give their learnings real world connections and demonstrate the positive impact they can have on the future of the world, so it becomes more likely that they will develop a passion for STEM and pursue it as a career.”

To enquire about availability for a Tech Tour, contact schools@engine-shed.co.uk.  The tours are for year groups 5 to 8 (ages 9-13) for a class of children – approximately 30. They take place monthly during school term times until November 2020 and include free transport to and from school in the West of England region.