Constructing a Life on Mars
Constructing a Life on Mars project provided learners with the opportunity to work as part of a team to research and find out about how people are planning to travel and live on Mars.
- Planning and constructing a model Mars settlement
- Meeting and working with professionals, apprentices and university students
- Using VR and AR technology systems to explore a virtual Mars environment
- Finding out about how digital technology is transforming career opportunities across sectors such as advanced manufacturing, design, engineering and construction
- Finding out about HE, apprenticeship and career progression opportunities
“I have developed my teamwork skills and the ability to have creative ideas”
“It gave us an idea of what skills employers look for”
After the workshop learners’ intention to consider a career in design technology more than doubled*
*Data from the 19-20 GM Higher evaluation report
TeenTech Manchester Festival has proved a powerful catalyst for learners developing an enthusiasm for future careers in high tech companies.
The event welcomes learners from across numerous schools to try a variety of hands-on tech activities. From cybersecurity to engineering design and wearable technology to the future of food.
Maggie Philbin OBE, co-founder of TeenTech said, “I’m particularly proud of this event as I was born in Manchester and both my daughter and I studied at the University of Manchester. It’s a great city with many opportunities, but far too many young people do not realise their own potential to succeed.”
For many learners, the festival may mark the first step towards realising an enjoyment working in areas they have previously dismissed as “not for people like me” or not had the opportunity to explore before.
You can listen to our young reporters’ podcasts from Teen Tech 2018:
The impact of TeenTech on learners is notable, in 2017, only 40% of learners arrived at the event with any interest in a career in science and technology, but by the end of the day, this had risen to 81%.
 Measured across 3000 Year 8 and Year 9 students attending TeenTech events in 2017
Hits Radio Community Days
In Summer 2018, Hits Radio and Greater Manchester Higher came together to deliver Community Day events across Greater Manchester.
The Community Days asked local residents and young people to share their hopes, aims and dreams for the future, from going to university to getting that dream job. Greater Manchester Higher staff were present to chat about higher education and university routes and answer any questions about options after school!
The Hits Radio Media Bus also visited schools and developed engaging radio commercials about higher education with learners.
In June 2018, 140 young people visited London from the North-West for a three-day residential as part of a larger programme – ‘Fast Trackers’, which represented the single-largest Year of Engineering project in which Network Rail is involved. Hailing from Crewe, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston, the participants were selected from areas of the country with historically low higher-education uptake in an effort to shift their attitudes towards apprenticeships and university. Working in partnership with Mott MacDonald, Fast Trackers was delivered in its entirety by Network Rail engineering graduates on behalf of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP).
The benefit to the students is already clear at this early stage, with exit surveys showing that 97% of participants rated the residential element as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ and a 20% rise in positive attitudes towards pursuing higher education.
The project also won a Construction News Talent Awards Initiative award in November 2018.
Going forward, the Fast Trackers 2019 programme hopes to engage over 1000 learners nationally.
The charity works alongside university partners to support under-represented pupils from non-selective state schools and sixth-form colleges to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition to secure places at highly-selective universities. Learners studied a university-style module where they accessed cutting edge research and academic expertise, supplemented by two visits to regional universities where they experienced both the physical and intellectual environment of a highly-selective university.
I enjoyed getting a taste of university life and I am excited about my future at universityYear 10 Learner St Peters RC High School
A big insight, stepping pathway into university education. Great guidance, support and eye-opening knowledge into educationParent St Peters RC High School
It was a fun day and I enjoyed receiving my certificate as I was able to share this experience with my friendsYear 9 Learner Our Lady's RC High School