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More than 10,000 pupils take part in popular north-east Stem festival

More than 10,000 pupils take part in TechFest's online event

More than 10,000 pupils across the north-east have taken part in an interactive online programme promoting Stem education in schools.

Pupils had the opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering and maths straight from their desks as part of TechFest’s Digital Early Years and Primary Schools programme.

The virtual week-long event, which was supported by joint principal sponsors BP and Shell, took place from May 10-14.

It was the second time the popular festival was based exclusively online in its 27-year history due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

School pupils had the chance to watch a wide range of live and pre-recorded events – including presentations from Macduff Marine Aquarium, The Ark Open Farm, The Critter Keeper – as well as join Oceaneering and TechFest for an Audience with Astronauts.

A programme to ‘inspire and inform our future workforce’

Striving to develop a programme to suit schools and teachers’ needs, the TechFest team created three categories of events – Live, Touring and On Demand – all of which were free to attend and download.

With the Touring option, teachers were able to book a range of resources through TechFest and complete activities in their own time.

In addition, the My Work of Work Live series by Skills Development Scotland offered pupils the opportunity to make their own game, experience what it’s like to be a forensic computer analyst and use coding to create artwork.

The On Demand function meant schools could access TechFest’s catalogue of activities whenever it was convenient, including workshops from K’Next Generation, Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh and Glasgow Science Centre.

Pictured is Managing director of TechFest, Sarah Chew. Picture by Heather Fowlie.

Sarah Chew, managing director at TechFest, said: “I’m thrilled that our content has reached such a vast amount of pupils over such a large area.

“We saw great success with our digital event adaptations last year, so instead of continuing to put the physical schools programme on hold, we made it virtual, continuing our mission to promote STEM to a wider audience.

“This last year has been a great example of how we can adapt to changes in circumstances, and thanks to our sponsors, volunteers and presenters, events like this can be provided to help inspire and inform our future workforce, even when we can’t be physically together.”

Recordings of the live events are available on TechFest’s YouTube channel.

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