Neon platform to help teachers discover brilliant engineering experiences
Image credit: Pixabay
A new digital platform that brings together high-quality engineering outreach opportunities and inspiring careers resources is being piloted with teachers.
Neon has been designed to bring the engineering community together to help teachers find good-quality engineering experiences, from workshops, speakers and clubs to competitions, events and trips.
It has recently been adapted to include virtual and online experiences, allowing for remote access during periods like the current lockdown when movement is restricted.
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; the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE); the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE); the Royal Academy of Engineering; Shell, and STEM Learning.
The platform will 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.
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 will run to mid-June, with over 50 experiences from more than 20 contributors and a range of careers resources and case studies by which to be inspired.
Dan Powell, head of Neon at EngineeringUK, said: "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."
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.
Gareth Richards, head of engineering faculty, Greater Peterborough UTC, who is taking part in the pilot, said: "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".
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.
Louise Curd, director of programmes at Learn by Design, said: "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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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