Airbus Challenges Young People’s Views of Tech Careers

Published on: 13th October 2015

Students see the exciting side of a career in tech at TeenTech event

More than 280 students aged 12 to 13 from across the South West had the opportunity to experience first-hand how exciting it could be to work in a high-tech engineering environment at the Airbus sponsored TeenTech West event – an important education activity aimed at inspiring young people from all backgrounds in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

The TeenTech experience is highly interactive and designed to inspire young people and their teachers about how science, engineering and technology is used in the business world. The event targets students before they make their GCSE subject choices, with the aim of dispelling gender stereotypes and shifting perceptions of careers teenagers may have previously considered "difficult", "geeky" or "boring".

Students from schools in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset took part alongside 25 local and national companies including Active Robots, Airbus, Atkins, JVC, National Grid, and Renishaw. The event also profiled the work of the Bristol Robotics Lab and the James Dyson Foundation.

STEM experts were on hand to help the students experience cutting edge tech, as a result learning just how exciting careers in these areas can be. Amongst other activities, the students learned about aerodynamics by flying model aircraft, made slime to understand biological reactions, explored space using virtual reality headsets and programmed robots.

At the end of the day there was a positive change in student’s perspectives of STEM subjects and careers. To begin with, less than half said that they were interested in scientific careers, or were keen on becoming engineers. After experiencing a day at TeenTech, the number of possible scientists rose to 77% and the number of students that thought a career in technology would be very interesting increased to 81%.

Maggie Philbin, the co-founder of TeenTech and presenter of Bang Goes the Theory, said; “It was only when I started work on Tomorrow's World that I had any idea just how big the world of science and technology really was. So TeenTech are thrilled to be partnering with Airbus for a third year to make sure young people in this region are made aware of the broad range of career opportunities in science, technology and engineering and the many different entry points from apprentice to graduate. It's a great experience which can be a life-changer for young people who gain confidence in their own potential through the challenges and activities which are part of the event day.

Colin Sirett, Head of R&T Development for Airbus in the UK, said; “TeenTech is a fantastic, interactive experience for children and teachers which really inspires and encourages the next generation of young engineers. It’s great to see so many local businesses participating in such an important educational event which genuinely does change the perceptions of young people about STEM subjects and the career paths they can follow as a result of continuing their studies in these areas.”






The Lord Mayor of Bristol Cllr Clare Campion-Smith mixing chemicals on the Astra Zeneca stand to make colorful slime with Valerija Kolosova aged 12 from Ashton Park School.






Airbus graduate engineer Camille Locatelli helping Brimsham Green School pupils with TeenTech’s DIY inventor activity.






Pleased to meet you. Bristol Grammar School Pupils shake hands with a life-size, active, cognitive robot.






Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie, watches pupils from FairField High School, Bristol, solve a technical challenge during TeenTech with the assistance of Airbus apprentice Daniel Lloyd Jones.