New platform to help teachers discover brilliant engineering experiences

May 28, 2020

neon - Brilliant Inspiration

A new digital platform that brings together quality engineering outreach opportunities and inspiring careers resources is being piloted with teachers.

Neon brings the engineering community together to help teachers find good quality engineering experiences, from workshops, speakers and clubs to competitions, events and trips and has recently been adapted to include virtual and online experiences to allow for remote access.

Neon aims to make life easier for teachers by curating the UK’s best engineering inspiration experiences and has been developed with strategic support from British Science Association, Department for Education, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Engineering and Technology, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Royal Academy of Engineering, Shell and STEM Learning.

The Neon development work draws on audience research and user testing as well as support and advice from across the engineering community. Around 70 teachers across the UK are taking part in the pilot, which runs to mid-June with over 50 experiences from more than 20 contributors and a range of careers resources and case studies to be inspired by.

Gareth Richards, Head of Engineering Faculty, Greater Peterborough UTC, who is taking part in the pilot says: ‘My first impression is that Neon is excellent and will be my number one stop for anything relating to enrichment and careers for STEM subjects’.

Teacher and contributor feedback from the pilot will be used to develop Neon further ahead of a full launch with more experiences in the autumn.

Neon aims to ensure teachers and their students can enjoy the very best engineering experiences. To achieve this, a set of quality criteria have been developed with the engineering community and only those experiences that meet the criteria feature on the site. For example, experiences must include positive and contemporary messaging about engineering and engineering careers, they should be inclusive in design and delivery and committed to embedding learning and improvement.

Powered by EngineeringUK, Neon is a free digital space for the community to showcase the UK’s most brilliant engineering experiences and for teachers to discover them with confidence.

Dan Powell, who heads up Neon at EngineeringUK says: ‘We've been working with partners from across the engineering community to create Neon and make it work for both users and contributors.

We aim to make life easier for teachers by curating the best engineering inspiration experiences so they can be confident they are good quality. Neon is also a shop window for anyone who runs those activities and we can offer some support in reaching those all-important quality criteria.’

Louise Curd, Director of Programmes at Learn by Design says: ‘Neon is looking great and we’re excited to feature our engineering activities on the platform. We’re now in a position to start to add more of our opportunities and inspire even more young people into STEM’.

Potential contributors interested in featuring their engineering experiences on Neon should contact the team on hello@neonfutures.org.uk.

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