https://insidedvla.blog.gov.uk/2019/12/18/dvlas-school-hosting-days-make-learning-fun/

DVLA’s school hosting days make learning fun

We know that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) will be as important to future generations as IT literacy is to today’s workforce. To help with this, we’ve recently launched our new Discover, Reach, Interesting Interaction, Visualise and Engage (DRIIVE) programme.

Through DRIIVE, we use our IT expertise to teach children how to use coding in a practical way through problem-solving, teamwork and creative sessions.

Boy from Clase Primary School on laptop

Sharing skills, opening doors

Our school hosting days are one part of DRIIVE.

During the sessions, children have a chance to learn how to code automated vehicles, create chatbots and program digital ID badges. They also find out how teams at DVLA work together on exciting projects such as creating digital services that millions of people use.

By taking part, children develop practical skills, and it also helps schools to take these lessons back to the classroom.

Two girls from Clase Primary School using a laptop to program a robot

Our aim is to introduce IT skills by making them fun and easily accessible for all.  Ideally, we hope this will pique their curiosity in the STEM subjects and not only influence their educational choices for the future, but teach them the importance of mastering STEM.

Our hosting days are aimed at encouraging and hopefully inspiring our next generation of STEM experts. The development of these skills is critical and who knows, in the future some of these children may choose a career at DVLA!

An amazing day

Our first school hosting day was with our local year 6 pupils from nearby Clase Primary School.

Through different activities and interactive sessions, the children learned about emerging technologies, such as virtual reality and facial recognition. We also taught them about scratch coding (coding for beginners) and how to use Micro:bit and OhBot (computer programming tools). For the finale, they all had a go at navigating a Sphero (a small round robot) around a pre-built track.

Great feedback

The pupils were amazing and all keen to learn and brimming with questions, which was fantastic. Every child left with a certificate and more information to take home with them to show how they can continue their learning about STEM.

It was a brilliant opportunity for us to share our knowledge and we were able to donate decommissioned laptops to the school. This will help to continue STEM in the classroom.

Ffion Morgan and Suzanne Ward, both teachers at Clase Primary School, had this to say:

An amazing day from start to finish - 10 out of 10!

This has given us loads of inspiration to take back into the classroom.

Just the beginning

This is just the start. Our aim is to invite or visit 6 schools each year for a day of fun and learning about STEM and to keep working closely developing key skills in the local community.

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