TNMOC bids to help young people discover the joy of STEM

The Ambassador Kids programme sees TNMOC host monthly hands-on sessions featuring guest mentors and the Bletchley Park computer archive

The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) has launched a new initiative designed to encourage young people to consider STEM-shaped career paths.

The Ambassador Kids programme sees Bletchley Park utilise its unique array of historical computers, together with guest mentoring sessions drawn from its network of sponsors and supporters.

Part of the motivation for the scheme came from WorldSkillsUK’s Disconnected? Exploring the digital skills gap report, which found that participation in IT subjects at GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had declined every year since 2015.

“Kids are less engaged in technology than ever before, while the world is only becoming more digital,” said Jacqui Garrad, museum director at TNMOC.

“This is why now seemed the right time to launch our Ambassador Kids programme. At TNMOC, we are committed to fulfilling our mission to inspire, educate, and engage the next generation of technologists and this programme is another step in fulfilling that.”

Free and open to all children aged 10 and over, the monthly sessions will feature a series of hands-on practical activities, such as:

  • 3D printing and digital modelling 
  • Raspberry Pi coding activities 
  • Virtual reality activities
  • Microsoft MakeCode sessions and video game building 
  • Sphero STEM kits and robotics 
  • BBC micro:bit coding 
  • Minecraft education activities

The programme is being sponsored by independent software vendor, Lightning Tools.

“Since engaging with the museum on its autism in the workplace programme, we’ve had a strong commitment to helping the museum achieve its mission,” said company co-founder, Brett Lonsdale.

“Now, more than ever, kids need a strong foundation to explore technology later in life, and this programme will do just that, in a fun and approachable way. If you look at how technology is moving, it’s always going to require people to write code and we’ll need a generation of aspiring coders to do that.

“I’m also excited to participate in the programme myself as a mentor and give kids their first taste of tech. It’s really the perfect opportunity to help kids get the most out of it by playing, experimenting and experiencing technology hands-on.”

You might also like: STEM-curious young women invited to virtual conference at Bletchley Park


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