Children jumped head first into a world of robots, space rockets and augmented reality when MK Innovates arrived at centre:mk today, (July 7)
Industry experts were on hand to encourage kids to carve a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics at a festival in honour of Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday.
An intergalactic dalek managed to upstage special guests MK South MP Iain Stewart, Mayor David Hopkins and High Sheriff Peter Kara who kindly opened the interactive event as hundreds flocked to Middleton Hall for the two-day festival supported by Women Leaders.
The trio got fully involved in finding out what the festival has to offer, from robots playing connect 4 to augmented reality featuring dinosaurs and F1 cars with support of companies including Nissan, The Open University, University of Buckingham, University of Bedfordshire, Catapult, School of Physical Sciences, Red Bull and MK Dons.
Jan Flawn CBE, founder of PJ Care and Women Leaders, has brought the interactive event to Milton Keynes so that children, and especially girls, can see what STEM subjects have to offer them in the future.
Jan said: “STEM subjects are actually incredibly exciting and we need to encourage children and other students to consider these subjects when making their choices. There is a shortage of skilled technicians, scientists and engineers in Milton Keynes and of course these careers pay very well.
“This two-day event not only showcases the successful industries we have in Milton Keynes, but will be fun and inspirational - giving children the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be involved in STEM subjects.
They’re having a hands on experience today to give them an insight into these industries to hopefully encourage them to follow in the future.”
After stepping into a world of virtual reality, Iain Stewart MP encouraged the people of Milton Keynes to visit MK Innovates and let children experience the magic for themselves.
He said: “Please get involved and please tell everyone else to come here and be inspired.
“Help change the future economic growth not just of Milton Keynes but of the whole country.”
Nifty Lifts has brought a computer controlled cherry picker, while Nissan will encourage individuals in a build and race activity, as well as enter a competition to design the ultimate Nissan car. Milton Keynes College will be offering a range of games and puzzles designed to excite and stimulate.
Jan added: “Buckingham University will be providing 30-45 minutes coding tasters for attendees (from age 10) with little or no experience in coding; Evidence Talks will be encouraging children to design a game or produce an animation over the 2 days using SCRATCH and Arcadis will provide VR viewers and QR codes for people to add to their phones and view 3D models using their phone as a VR headset, plus so much more”.
MK Innovates is open between 10am and 4.30pm on July 7/8 at Middleton Hall, centre:mk - make sure you visit to see it for yourself.
Women Leaders MK is returning for the third year running at a glitzy awards event at Hilton DoubleTree, stadium:mk on October 13th. To sponsor an award visit, www.womenleadersmk.co.uk