AI inspires ingenious ideas at TeenTech STEM festival

Apps that translate text into British Sign Language, enable older people to access nutritious food deliveries, and promote hydration in the population were some of the ideas generated by quick-thinking school pupils as they took part in an innovation event run by TeenTech at the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI).
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The MTI welcomed over 190 school pupils from Leicestershire and Warwickshire alongside business leaders as part of an event designed to inspire young people to think about careers in science, engineering and technology. Event host, TV’s Kate Russell, best known for presenting the BBC’s ‘Click’ technology programme, remarked on how impressed she was by the level of creativity shown by pupils as they deliberated ways to solve some of the world’s most urgent problems.

Funded by Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council and supported by local councils, HORIBA MIRA, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, and Coventry University, the event also provided the opportunity for young people to meet potential future employers and try out a range of skills challenges set by organisations such as Polestar, Wincanton, Haldex, FluxSys and the Electronic Revolution Skills Hub. Special guests included Marcus Jones, MP for Nuneaton.

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TeenTech runs activities across the UK designed to engage young people in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM subjects), and connect them to individuals working at all levels in industry. Activities encompass a broad spectrum of projects, and this event was dedicated to the growth of AI which is set to decrease workload by 60-70 per cent in the future.

TeenTech at the MTITeenTech at the MTI
TeenTech at the MTI

Aiden Howgill, Talent Acquisition Manager for Polestar said, “We are delighted to support this event because it is so important that young people see for themselves what the latest technology in electric vehicles can accomplish. With skills shortages in the sector, it is vital to ignite the spark of enthusiasm in the next generation of automotive engineers.

Aziliz Cozic, Design Engineer at Triumph said, “For me, it is important to encourage more women to think about careers in engineering because it has been so male-dominated and we are keen to address the gender imbalance.”

Anthony Bagga, Senior Marketing Specialist for Intrepid Control Systems UK, has been revealing some of the secrets of vehicle network engineering at the event. He said, “We are always delighted to support TeenTech because it gives students a great opportunity to see different aspects of automotive engineering. There are so many new OEMs and supply chain businesses all competing for a small pool of skilled individuals. We need to futureproof the talent pipeline so that there are plenty of new engineers coming through to work with us.”

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Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “The growth of AI is an exciting topic that everyone is talking about, and it is already making an impact on our day to day lives. The market for AI technology is set to boom creating plenty of new career opportunities. The TeenTech programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain inspiration for their future employment options. They may not have considered choosing engineering or technology, but this type of event demonstrates that solving problems can be fun and hugely rewarding as well as being critical and important.”

TeenTech CEO, Maggie Philbin said, “The TeenTech team are thrilled to be working with MTI to create these special opportunities for young people in the region. We know many of the students inspired by companies today will go on not only to change their preconceptions about engineering but will also be incentivised to develop their own projects for the TeenTech Awards in June. Our relationship with MTI is now into its fifth year and it’s such a creative and powerful way to address skills shortages and help young people understand their untapped potential.”

The MTI is helping to create specialist skills in some of the new emerging technology areas including electrification and driverless cars. Since it first opened its doors, the MTI has welcomed over 48,200 students and delegates. This includes over 3,600 studying for accredited qualifications from a Level 1 Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) certificate up to Masters’ degrees, and over 880 apprenticeships at all levels. More than 18,200 automotive professionals have taken part in professional development activities.

For details of MTI training opportunities please call 02476 935680 or email [email protected]

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