Engine Shed

Engine Shed – Super Project

Discussing coding on Raspberry Pi at our recent celebration event.

We’re excited to be working with Engine Shed as part of their ‘Super Project’ to build a community amongst local tech companies to produce high quality project resources that can be used by DigiLocal, and other projects, to excite young people about high tech!

We’re starting with our DigiLocal communities, in St Pauls, Easton, Ashley, Bedminster, etc. We’re holding community workshops to elicit their stories and games to provide culturally-connected project briefs. These briefs will then guide the tech community on documenting the journey an engineer might take in producing a game or animation from that brief.

This project is innovative in focusing on a tech community (the extended Engine Shed & HBB networks) and building engagement between those engineers and local communities. These engineers will meet regularly to develop their ideas in a ‘safe space’ – Engine Shed; and then piloting them with the most demanding client base imaginable, a room full of young people!

Most kids like building things, especially where there are clear stages that show progress. The projects we’ll use to support the engineers will demonstrate this scaffolded approach. The intention is not to ‘teach’ a curriculum and evaluate against grade averages, but to ensure that projects embody good engineering practice are a relevant to the science, technology, engineering and maths curriculum.

Young coders at the Malcom X Community Centre

They also need to be ‘fun’ and young people will provide pretty direct feedback on that!

Parents have told us that children have taken science subjects following their experiences at DigiLocal. By focusing on challenging communities, such as around Easton, Barton Hill, St Paul’s, Ashley Down, etc, this is supporting a more diverse workforce for the future.

By providing young people with fun projects in high tech that they recognise from their culture and community, we are demonstrating that this is a world they can engage with and participate in. We are also contributing to cross-cultural awareness as those projects will be used across all our DigiLocal clubs.

The long term impact will be more people from diverse backgrounds working in high tech. Within the scope of this funding the impact will be increased confidence of young people in working with high tech. This is necessarily qualitative but none the less a powerful form of evaluation.

Get involved

If you or your company would like to participate, please email me: john.bradford@hbb.org.uk

We are currently developing ideas using the following topics:

  • The clever girl and the hungry hyena
  • River crossing (Jaguar, Goat, grass)
  • Build your totem pole