James Dyson set the foundation up in 2002 to support design and engineering education and will invest £100,000 to aid this process.
Committed to encouraging young people into careers in design engineering, the charity offers a wide range of free resources for design and technology teachers, as well as working in universities and schools throughout the UK and internationally.
The UK’s best D&T teachers will have the opportunity to develop and share their innovations and skills with other teachers, bringing technology to life in classrooms across the UK.
Some of the money will go towards funding supply teacher cover; timely support when school budgets are squeezed and teachers are unable to take time out of the classroom easily.
The first meeting takes place at the Dyson Research & Development facilities in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Senior engineers will be on hand to guide teachers through the Dyson design process.
James Dyson said: “Teachers are our biggest asset in inspiring the inventors of the future. But to challenge conventional thinking and generate new ideas, it’s imperative that they use the latest, most exciting, materials. By working with industry and sharing their expertise the teaching fellows can ensure the classroom is brimming with exciting ideas and new technology”.
Richard Green, CEO of the Design and Technology Association: “Teachers can inspire a future generation of engineers at a young age. Practical, hands on and up-to-date teaching brings the subject alive in the classroom. But technology moves quickly and there are few opportunities for teachers to explore the latest technologies”.
Dyson’s critically acclaimed ‘Ingenious Britain’ report raises important questions about the currently under funded continuous professional development available to STEM teachers.
OFSTED too, highlighted in a recent report that teachers were “failing to keep pace with technological developments or expand on their initial training sufficiently to enable them to teach the technically demanding aspects of the curriculum”. This, it concludes, is leading to “an out-dated curriculum” in late primary and early secondary school.
The James Dyson Award
The 2011 international James Dyson Award is now open for entries – challenging young engineers and designers to develop problem solving inventions. The award is run in 18 countries, with the winner receiving £10,000 to develop their invention and £10,000 for their university. Entries are accepted until 2nd August via www.jamesdysonaward.org