Volunteering Opportunities with TeenTech

Introduction

Could you lend your skills and expertise to support young people at a TeenTech event?

TeenTech run lively large scale but sharply focused events to help young people, their parents and teachers understand the opportunities in contemporary industry. TeenTech is aligned with STEM – all activities are designed to help students understand the context for subjects they are learning at school.

TeenTech events across the UK with a supporting award scheme so students and teachers can take their interests further. Many events are deliberately sited in areas of greater social need and TeenTech encourages schools to bring mixed ability students. Each event brings together 10 students from 30/50 different schools and 30/50 organisations and universities for a day of challenges and experiments that are carefully timetabled.

Students are then encouraged to run their own projects to ‘make life better, simpler or easier’ with support from industry in the TeenTech Awards. These projects are structured so they are a valuable experience for every single student who participates, not just those who reach the final at The Royal Society or the winners who are invited to Buckingham Palace.

 

Volunteering Opportunities

There are three different opportunities to support a TeenTech event:

Run an interactive stand:

There is the opportunity to run either a 15-minute Insight Zone or 30-minute Challenge Zone stand to help schools understand the opportunities within your organisation. TeenTech can help you develop activities that work well with teenagers.

  • Insight zone: Young people aged 12-13 will arrive in groups of five, accompanied by an “industry ambassador” and a teacher for around 15 minutes at a time. Stands need to be visually attractive, offering some simple, short, hands-on challenges or curiosities that will draw the students in and engage them in conversation about your industry.
  • Challenge zone: Students aged 12-13 will arrive in groups of ten, together with a teacher and an “industry ambassador” to take part in 30 minute activity.  Businesses will deliver their challenge 6 times on the day.  Once again, you need to offer an engaging and informative activity, bringing your own resources that will widen their understanding of a facet of your industry.

Be an Industry Ambassador:

The Ambassadors’ role is to accompany small groups of students and their teacher at our regional events.  Ambassadors are there to really help students with each task and provide a sounding board and general support to them whilst they tackle the various challenges and experiments set. It’s a really important role and a chance to dispel myths about what people working in technology are really like. Many ambassadors form bonds with schools and can go onto help them develop their ideas at the TeenTech Awards

Be a Newsroom editor:

TeenTech have a small group of older students who act as TeenTech reporters on the day, collecting stories, pictures and videos. Your role would be to co-ordinate the activity, giving students the experience of working to a deadline and producing content. Previously the student content has been used for local radio, videos, online magazines, blogs, newsletters so that the reach of the event is amplified.

Time needed for all 3 roles described above:

8.30 am – 3pm on the event day

For those wishing to support the TeenTech Awards the following additional opportunity is available.

Become an Awards Mentor 

The TeenTech Awards encourage young people, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, who may never have thought of themselves as scientists, engineers or technologists to develop their own ideas to make life better, simpler, safer or more fun. Please specify the level of support and feedback you are prepared to offer :- email feedback, Skype, Google HangOut, or a visit to the school if local so we can manage expectations. You can also choose whether to provide on-going support or a one-off review of their idea.

You can provide valuable feedback on everything from the quality of the idea, research suggestions, the actual tech, the best way to market the product etc. Best of all – the students will be so excited and motivated that someone from your organisation is listening to their idea and providing support. This is a key opportunity for schools and companies to develop relationships that they would never have the opportunity to do otherwise.

 

The Ideal Volunteer

  • A genuine desire to support and engage with hard to reach audiences
  • Confidence working with young people
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A strong understanding of the industry
  • Shareable STEM skills and experiences (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths)

 

What do our volunteers say?

‘I haven’t been around teenagers for quite a while and it made me remember how imaginative they are. Watching these experiments through their eyes felt really refreshing’

‘Seeing the happy faces of the kids throughout the day. Also seeing how much the apprentices who volunteered to support the event, enjoyed it.’

‘I was surprised how interested the students were, they seemed genuinely interested and were happy to chat about STEM subjects and careers. Some students particularly impressed me; one of them was programming and making apps at home for fun’

‘I found the most surprising element was the Q&A that the students undertook at the start of the day and then at the end. This really highlighted the impact of the day and highlights the need for such events.’