Aimed at primary school children, local York business, Technology in Play has seen a continued demand for their online STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities which they moved online to help parents home educate their children.
Founded in 2017, Technology in Play was the brainchild of Nicki Fowler, a York-based entrepreneur who has forged long-term relationships with parents across Tadcaster, York, Harrogate and Leeds where she and her team host regular STEM workshops and holiday camps. Prior to lockdown, Technology in Play were on the brink of franchising to other areas of Yorkshire, however, this all changed when the schools closed in March. Before the pandemic, Technology in Play worked with 12 schools as well as regularly ran workshops and activities at the National Railway Museum, Yorkshire Agricultural Society and at York St John University.
Nicki says “I completely understand and support the reasoning behind why the schools were closed, however, a part of me was devastated and worried how Technology in Play would survive without its main source of income. Within 24 hours of the schools closing, the team proposed moving our STEM classes online to our parents. Parents responded enthusiastically many citing that they felt out of their depths home educating their children, therefore, we launched TiP Live Sessions.”
Broadcasting on Zoom four times a week, the live sessions have given primary-aged children the opportunity to engage with fun STEM-based activities, such as space, plant cells, the water cycle plus more. Predominantly accessed by families based in York, the sessions have also been accessed on a national and international level, including young children and their families from Yorkshire, South-West, Scotland and Sweden.
Nicki continues “Despite the primary schools reopening, it is unlikely that we will be able to reintroduce our school-based workshops anytime soon. With a continued high demand for our online STEM classes, I am going to keep them as part of our regular STEM programme for the long-term as numbers are still continuing to grow which suggests that there is a hunger for online STEM classes. Having an online element to the Technology in Play programme will also help us to further branch out into other areas of the UK where there are very few STEM opportunities for young children to get involved in. By expanding the Technology in Play model into other areas of the UK, I hope we are able to encourage and empower more children to consider careers in the STEM sector post-education.”
Find out more about Technology in Play by clicking here.