Students, our Tech Roadshow is coming to a school near you

Croydon Digital’s schools roadshow is inspiring students across Croydon to consider careers in tech.

The Croydon Schools Tech Roadshow launched this month with a triple hitter of events at St Joseph’s College, Woodcote School and Harris City Academy Crystal Palace. Amazon Web Services, Sopra Steria and Community Fibre delivered exciting sessions to 200 students over 3 days in the first week of Croydon’s first ever Tech Roadshow.

Aimed at secondary schools across Croydon, the objective of the roadshow is to raise awareness and career aspirations of young people, and to demonstrate how future jobs and careers are changing in the digital era. The roadshow will bring assemblies and workshops to children aged 11 to 18 (Years 7 to 13) and showcase careers in tech and digital. If you’re interested in a roadshow near you, Croydon students age 13 and over can sign up for updates here.

Highlights of the first roadshows

Amazon Web Services delivered assemblies to year 10 and 11 students at St Joseph’s College and 6th formers at Woodcote School. Students heard about the breadth of Amazon’s businesses including AWS, Amazon Prime, Kindle, Wholefoods, Twitch and Audible. They also got an insight into innovative products and services in development, like Amazon Go stores (coming to London in 2020) and Prime Air – a drone-based delivery service being trialled in Cambridgeshire!

Students went on to hear about what it’s like to work at Amazon, their culture of innovation, and how students could join the Amazon Apprenticeship programme. The workshop gave students an example of one of the many exciting career routes available to them in the digital economy.

There was a real sense of inspiration at the end of the session from students and teachers alike. Students commented:

“I have already applied to university but now that I know apprenticeships go up to level 6, I am reconsidering my options.”

“It was a really interesting talk and gave me an insight into the different things that Amazon do.”

At the Sopra Steria session at St Joseph’s, many of the students were able to experience virtual reality for the first time and heard about how technology will shape their future. Students were inspired about the different roles involved in a tech career and what skills they will need to excel in the future.

Community Fibre, a London-wide internet provider with a Croydon-based founder and director, ran 2 sessions at Harris City Academy in Crystal Palace. The Year 12 students were really engaged and asked a barrage of intelligent questions throughout a relaxed sessions where they learnt about the world of Full Fibre internet and how optic cable enables gigabit data speeds. They observed a demonstration of “fibre splicing” and saw how light and data can travel through hundreds of meters of cable in a split second.

It’s so exciting to see the Tech Roadshow get underway with such a positive response from students and teachers alike. By helping young people gain an awareness of how jobs and careers are changing, we hope to raise their aspirations about their future education and career opportunities and bridge the huge  gap that exists in digital and technology skills.

The Tech Roadshow will continue throughout February and March, with visits to more secondary schools planned across the borough. Exciting sessions on Virtual Reality, 3D modelling and more will be delivered by Home Office Digital, Mott MacDonald and Openreach, supported by the Institution of Civil Engineering, Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Mayor of London’s Digital Talent Programme.

Want to get involved?

Our digital skills programme doesn’t end with the roadshow!

If you’re over 13 and a Croydon student, you can sign up here for email updates on future workshops and tech skills events.

We’re also looking for more companies and schools to take part, so please drop me an email if you’re interested – opama.khan@croydon.gov.uk.

As a taster of what’s to come, we’ll be hosting the national Education Evolution conference at Fairfield Halls in June. We’ve partnered with Caterham School, Ada National Digital College and London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) to bring together education and industry leaders and explore how to give students the digital skills needed in the future.

We’re also pulling together a Digital Skills Day for secondary school children, followed by an exciting Tech Competition later in the year. Details will be revealed in coming months, so please stay tuned!

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