Over the past couple of years, it has been essential for all businesses to focus their efforts on becoming more digitally equipped. Getting more girls into computing is a key part of this.
Glen Smith and Maria Sakar started DriveWorks in 2001. They created a unique design automation software tool to automate the 3D CAD design package, SOLIDWORKS. They pride themselves on helping businesses to drive their own SOLIDWORKS designs and create and maintain their configurator solutions. Hundreds of manufacturers across the world use DriveWorks systems daily to configure and automate their designs.
Another area that DriveWorks are passionate about is supporting the education system and investing in the future of digital, especially for girls in Cheshire and Warrington.
Earlier this year, they launched their ‘Girls into Computing Project’ for female students from Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, with support from the Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership.
The purpose of this project was to get more students, predominantly girls, thinking and talking about computing and digital skills to consider a digital-related option when choosing their GCSE subjects.
Over the February half-term, the students were split into groups and were given a brief to “create a customizable environmentally friendly product”.
In their teams, they got to work planning their creative product concepts. Throughout the week they were supported by the DriveWorks team who also gave them an insight into their day-to-day jobs and what skills they would need to pursue similar roles in the future.
By the end of the week, the students had completed their briefs and developed some exceptional concepts such as:
• A customisable skateboard made from recycled materials
• A customisable LED trainer that could change colours
• A customisable pillow that could change shape and design
• Shino-Matic 9000 – a light that would project whatever you wanted to on a wall
All students successfully presented these concepts to the DriveWorks VP and Co-Founder, Maria Sakar who presented them each with a certificate. Maria is also a member of the Digital Skills Partnership Board. In their presentations, they showcased how their products would be environmentally friendly, who their target audience would be and how would they market their product.
Maria Sarkar said:
“We are really keen to give young people and their parents, an insight into the many varied job roles and career paths that exist today in what is referred to as the digital sector”.
Trevor Langston, Pledge Lead for the Cheshire, and Warrington Pledge said:
“The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge is all about putting employers at the heart of inspiring the next generation. Employers are clear that they need more young people entering the world of work with enhanced digital skills and a thirst to work within the digital sector. Only 30% of those with a level 3 digital qualification are females so this is a great project to raise awareness with our future female employees.”
The ‘Girls into Computing’ project allowed the students to gain an insight into the skills they need to work in the digital sector, completing essential day-to-day tasks such as conducting research, creating marketing plans, working in a team and presentation skills.
DriveWorks work closely with The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership and the Digital Skills Partnership which are both parts of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, to provide these fantastic opportunities for students across the region and make these projects come to life.
If you would like to find out more about DriveWorks, please click here
If you would like to find out more about the Digital Skills Partnership, please click here
To find out how you can run similar projects in schools and colleges, contact us here
posted: Tuesday 06 September