D&T Bringing design & coding to life

Published 8th October 2018

The Design and Technology Association is delighted to announce that we have secured funding from the Engineering Education Grant Scheme EEGS, supported by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) to deliver a pilot project called ‘Engineering Solutions – Bringing design and coding to life’. The project involves a group of 10 primary and 5 secondary schools in the Stoke-on-Trent area in developing and piloting a 5-week project designed to engage and inspire young people in micro-electronics. Working with Year 5 and 6 pupils, the project teaches the basic principles of coding using Micro:bits and Microsoft’s MakeCode editor, before challenging them to use their skills to develop their own autonomous device. Through the project, the pupils will be able to explore the place of autonomous devices in modern society and develop a broader understanding of how engineering provides solutions for both society’s and individuals’ needs.

The project will help address primary teachers’ critical skills shortage in the area of design and technology. It will provide them with training Secondary teachers will support their primary feeder schools to deliver this project effectively thus ensuring that pupils’ base knowledge of micro-electronics is increased prior to joining secondary schools.

The project covers aspects of both the Design and Technology and Computing curriculum and applies knowledge and understanding from the Key Stage 2 Mathematics and Science curriculum. Pupils will work in small groups to design and develop their own project to create their autonomous device, which will also develop their team working, problem solving skills and improve their self-esteem.

The project will be delivered by Stuart Ball @innovativeteach from More Than Learning Limited.  It is supported by a local engineering employer, KMF Group which runs its own successful ‘Young Engineer’ scheme and the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, MEF which is providing subsidised equipment along with training support. The materials on which the project is based come from a collection called ‘Robotics On Micro:bits’ ROM developed by D&T Association and MEF ambassador, Adrian Oldknow who is also supporting the project. The approach being piloted is one which we hope will be adopted more widely across UK primary schools.

This project supports the Year of Engineering initiative that focuses on the YOE theme ‘Engineering improves lives’.



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