Government-led programme 'Year of Engineering' adopts Openbadges.me
Government-led programme 'Year of Engineering' adopts Openbadges.me to boost engineering across the UK
Engineering is an exciting, well paid and varied career which offers fantastic opportunities for travel and has a positive impact on the world. However, there are still too few engineers qualifying in the UK. Furthermore, women and ethnic minorities are under-represented, making up only 12% and 8% of the workforce respectively (Engineering UK 2018).
In an effort to address this, the Government has been running the Year of Engineering, a year-long campaign to celebrate the world and wonder of engineering and ensure that everyone has the skills needed to thrive in a modern economy.
The Year of Engineering initiative aims to raise awareness of diversity within the industry and highlight the exciting and varied careers that are available within engineering – such as software development, film and TV effects, and creating computer games. Running nationwide, the campaign has been delivered with key industry partners such as LEGO, the UK Space Agency, Kidzania, FIFA, and STEM Learning.
The Year of Engineering, ran ‘The Holiday Makers’ campaign throughout summer 2018 for parents with children aged 7 – 16-year’s old. The aim of the campaign was to provide parents with events, challenges and activities to do with their children whilst on summer holiday and encourage their children to use a “holiday journal” to record everything they’d taken part in over the summer.
Children were challenged to complete 6 key challenges - including creating your own Robo arm or taking part in the Chain Reaction Challenge. They also recorded events they had been to and the activities they had completed. For each piece of activity, children were awarded a digital badge to celebrate their achievements and encourage them to take part in other activities in order to collect additional badges.
The Year of Engineering recognised the need for a digital journal as parents might not want to print out a physical one or have a printer at home to do so. With a need for simplicity and seamless integration, 23Red adopted the Openbadges.me backpack – where users could store all their digital badges in an online journal. Speaking on behalf of the Year of Engineering’s agency, 23Red, John Coote stated
“the openbadges.me backpack was a really nice way to offer people an online way of completing the journal, as well as making it open to all”.
To get started with the summer programme, parents would visit The Holiday Makers hub, where they would be greeted by sections for events, activities and challenges – and the option to sign up for the holiday journal. Once signed up, they would then choose which activities they wanted their child to complete. Once the activity had been completed, the user simply entered their email and was awarded a badge. The badges were issued sequentially, with each activity or event completed filling in a segment of a badge, helping the children feel as though they were working towards a goal. Along with determining their own criteria for their badges, the Year of Engineering also created each badge themselves with the Openbadges.me free online badge maker, with three versions available for events, challenges and activities.
With a focus on providing a different, creative outlook on the engineering industry, John spoke about how Openbadges.me was a nice fit for the initiative, stating the platform “felt like a modern way of working”. Speaking on behalf of MyKnowledgeMap and Openbadges.me, operations director Adam Doyle said, “We are very proud to have been able to support the Year of Engineering, and digital badges are a great way to reward and encourage the next generation of engineers”.
The holiday journal program ran for 2 weeks in July and for the entire month of August 2018, whilst the Year of Engineering campaign will be running until the end of the year. Throughout July and August, Year of Engineering awarded 221 badges to 130 unique recipients.
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Engineering UK. (2018) Engineering UK 2018 Synopsis and recommendations. Available at: https://www.engineeringuk.com/media/1576/7444enguk18synopsisstandaloneaw.pdf