Shedding light on students’ future career prospects

mpmc Lighting competition for schools
mpmc Lighting competition for schools

School pupils will be taking part in a lighting design competition at Milton Keynes Academy as part of an initiative to encourage more students to consider a career in the lighting industry.

The event, on February 19, is the brainchild of lighting designer Lorraine Calcott, from IT Does Lighting, in her role as an ambassador for the Science, Technology and Engineering Network (STEMNET).

It will challenge the students to light the exterior and environs of the Milton Keynes Academy in a fun and hands-on demonstration of the lighting design profession.

STEMNET aims to inspire young people of all backgrounds and abilities to meet inspiring role models, understand real world applications of STEM subjects and experience STEM activities.

Lorraine said: “Lighting isn’t on a school’s career list and it’s only once students come across it in their chosen related professions that it registers at all as an option for a career. We are aiming to promote lighting as the diverse, interesting, fun and ultimately technically challenging career that it is.”

Lrraine became a STEM ambassador after learning of the programme from fellow Milton Keynes resident and STEM representative Barrie Wilde when they both judged the project categories in the 2013 Lighting Design Awards.

She now wants to encourage other lighting designers to promote lighting design in their own geographical areas.

“We should all want to promote our industry, give something back to our communities and ultimately invigorate the lighting industry with new young talented individuals in the process,” she said.

The event is being supported by lighting manufacturers DW Windsor, Philips, Thorn, iGuzzini, Holophane, Lite and LumenPulse which have donated lighting equipment and their time and expertise.

DW Windsor iGuzzini and Philips have offered tours of their facilities to all students who attend and small lighting related gifts will be available to all who attend on the day. 

School interested in taking part should contact Lorraine Calcott, or Julie Messenger at STEM,