One of the guiding principles of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) is to inspire future generations and that is why we and our amazing volunteers attend and participate in in many STEM events for young people.
You may have seen our reports on social media as we share their ingenuity and creativity. One of these events is TeenTech and led to one of our younger followers being interested in finding out more.
TeenTech is a charity founded in 2008 to encourage and support students to see the possibilities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. They run programmes which can be accessed through schools and by the home educating network. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, TeenTech took all their courses and sessions on-line, aiming to be as accessible as possible and to still give students the opportunity to develop their skills, albeit in an on-line world.
Which is where our young follower comes in. Imogen has a passion to become a games designer and found out about TeenTech whilst following us on social media. She discovered that they would be running on-line Innovation Sessions and one of these would be in the very subject she was interested in.
Having signed up and taken part in the session, Imogen was very pleased to find out that her game project, developed through the session, would receive feedback. Imogen had put a lot of thought into her storyboard and characters and felt quite pleased with the results. What she didn’t expect was the presenters to be so enthusiastic about her work and following the session, an invitation to submit this to the TeenTech Awards.
These awards are run annually, and each project submitted, whatever the category, receives feedback from industry professionals. It’s an amazing opportunity for students, whether working in groups or on their own, in school or from home, to innovate, create and develop ideas often looking at solving everyday problems.
After getting over the shock, Imogen set about expanding her storyboard and characters before submitting her work. TeenTech bring in industry specialists to judge each of the categories and ask them to grade each student with Contender, Bronze, Silver or Gold, to reflect the hard work and dedication that is evident in the work submitted. The criteria given to the judges is very directive so that it is fair across all the categories.
As Imogen told us, she felt that she was certainly a contender and would be very happy to receive a Bronze Award. So, imagine the scene when the email landed to advise that she had in fact been graded a Silver! Not only that, but she received feedback on her work from industry professionals who praised the amount of thought and effort she had put into her ideas, as well as her evaluation and reflection.
“The characters are really charming, and your illustrations are brilliant!”
“The characters you’ve designed are very smart, the drawings are 10/10”
“Be very proud of what you have created”
Right at the start of the article we said that we attend events with the aim of inspiring future generations. We are always pleased to hear about the creativity and efforts of our younger followers and are so pleased that following us on social media has led to such a great outcome for Imogen. As one of the judges said in her feedback:
“You are correct in saying that ideas are immensely valuable, after all, without them nothing gets created!”
How very true – the late Dr Robert Pleming had the idea of returning a Vulcan to flight and made the dream of eight years of XH558 gracing our skies come true.
The final word from Imogen, who recently received her GCSE results (2As, 5Bs and 2Cs) – well done Imogen! She is planning to go to college to study Games Design and IT, before moving into the world of work, hopefully through an apprenticeship. She isn’t doing nothing over the summer! As well as a Cyber course run by Cyberfirst in conjunction with the Smallpeice Trust, she has online work experience with a games design company through Speakers for Schools and more with TeenTech on coding games. She certainly isn’t sitting back and we look forward to hearing about what you do next, Imogen. You never know, we might even come to you for help!