Student journalists report on TeenTech event

Issue date: 23 October 2013

Students from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College with TeenTech founder Maggie Philbin

The news story below was written by sixteen year old James Williams, who is studying Sports Journalism at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. He and fellow students, Connor Summers, Matt Leigh and Jordan Wilkins spent the day at TeenTech observing and writing about the event. They interviewed exhibitors, school children and former Tommorow's World presenter and co-founder of TeenTech, Maggie Philbin.

The students were mentored throughout the day by Ally Laing from UWE Bristol's Marketing and Communications Department.

TeenTech's Maggie Philbin is interviewed by student journalists at the science and technology careers event, organised by UWE Bristol and Airbus. L-R: Connor Summers, James Williams, Maggie Philbin, Matt Leigh and Jordan Wilkins. The photograph was taken by Paul Davies, a photography student, at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

Teen Tech Brings the Future Forward

By James Williams

TeenTech, brainchild of former Tomorrow's World presenter Maggie Philbin, brought children from all over Bristol to show them career options within technology and science. The event demonstrated how studying science and maths could benefit them in the future, with displays of dancing robots, virtual gaming and the latest video technology.

Children visiting the event, held at UWE's Frenchay-based Exhibition and Conference Centre on 9 October , were clearly fascinated by what they saw, describing the day as "cool" and "funny". They enjoyed the many inventions on show which were all designed to attract their interest and give them an understanding of working in technology and engineering. Exhibitors gave careers advice and encouraged young people to take a fresh look at science and technology and not see it as “boring” or “geeky”.

Matthew Jones, from games designers CSCT, said: "To get involved with game designing, students need high levels of mathematicss and science."

There were three different zones that the children could move around, the Challenge Zone, the Innovations Zone and the Insight Zone. There was also an ideas board, on which they could say how they thought technology might benefit the world.

In the Challenge Zone the children were told how apps were created and were then asked to design their own apps in groups and then present their concept. In the Insight Zone they could visit 20 different business stalls, learning about different items of technology and some aspects of design.

After looking around the Insight Zone children were saying that their thoughts on game designers had changed and that they would enjoy a career in technology. Many thought the idea of designing seemed "fun" and "enjoyable" after visiting numerous stalls.

As host of the event Maggie Philbin hoped that it would “open students' eyes" and enable them to "meet cool people who work in science and technology". Maggie also hoped that her speeches, which both opened and closed the TeenTech event, would help inspire girls to take up a career in a sector that is still seen as male dominated.

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