The DETI Skills Inspire team have released an Engagement Activity report that highlights the progress and achievements of the initiative from September 2020 to December 2021.
Delivering an impressive array of outputs and engagement activities, in two years, the team have directly engaged 6,832 children and 216 teachers from 73 schools and community groups in the West of England, with an estimated 97,550 children reached altogether through dissemination efforts. Along the way, children have been able to have conversations with real-life engineers through (online) Q&A sessions, card games and skill shares. 441 engineers have so far shared their experiences, as well as at least 17 industry partners and three charities.
42% of total direct engagements (that’s 2,515 children!) came through in-person BoxED sessions, all four developed and launched by DETI Inspire in 2021: The West in Minecraft, We Make Our Future, Engineering Curiosity, and WeCount. 42% of all the schools engaged in these BoxED sessions came from areas within the most deprived 20% of the country, and a further 17% came from the most deprived 30%.
The last 20 months has seen the programme: establish a network of 102 engineers from diverse backgrounds; pair female junior engineers with senior female mentors; distribute 132 Engineering Curiosity card packs to schools and community groups and launch 40 Tik-Tok style videos to accompany them; host a Sustainable Solutions Summit for 16-18-year-olds; champion sustainable engineering at COP26; beam in engineers to 3,500 children during the height of the pandemic; and reach over 250,000 people through social media.
Despite another year of uncertainty, with rules around in-person events frequently changing, the DETI Inspire programme has excelled under the circumstances. Adapting to the changing rules and guidance, the team managed to engage in-person when they could – enriching children and young people’s cultural experiences, limited by the pandemic – and offer well attended online events when they could not. For instance, from two online events alone, DETI Inspire reached 9,000 children and young people.
DETI Inspire will continue to deliver BoxED activities to schools across the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), with a full calendar of bookings right up until June. The programme will also support this year’s Leaders Award, Great Science Share, and take part in the long-awaited return of Bristol’s Storytale Festival, among other activities. DETI Inspire is excelling in promoting engineering for sustainability among children, young people and adults from diverse backgrounds, not only in the West of England, but also nationally and across Europe.