A visit from Highbury

It was really nice to have a visit from Ross from Highbury college recently, who is setting up a SOLE space at their FE College.

We had chance to talk about the principles of SOLEs and how that has been working in practice. We talked about the use of the space and the way in which our space was designed so it could be used quite flexibly.

Looking forward to seeing their designs and how their new space works when it is up and running.

We are really pleased with the way our space works and the way it looks after a year and a half of use.

We have recently transformed our studio 2 space with the support of lots of wonderful people. It was wonderful to be able to design this room to make it genuinely flexible for creative projects and for art workshop activity.

Take a look…


Women and Technology

It was good to be asked by Newcastle University if we could examine SOLEs in Room 13 to support an exploration into why there are less women in IT and Technology related jobs.

At a recent conference held by Durham County Council, ideas were explored about ways to better encourage more women to take up roles in ICT and technology. Their background to this event was interesting.

“The ICT Industry is fundamental to the long term economic future of the North East, with over 32,000 people employed and 1,500 current job vacancies. The region has diverse business base of well-established global names from Sage, Accenture and Hewlett-Packard, tech, global companies and mid-sized firms. The region’s five universities have significant computing departments.
It is estimated that 90% of all jobs require some ICT skills. At present though it is a male dominated industry. Women form only 20% of the ICT workforce and are more prevalent in lower-level operator and clerical roles. Only 15% of ICT managers and 11% of ICT strategy and planning professionals are female.
The regional ICT industry needs to be as diverse as the society in which it functions. This will ensure that all talents are available for future growth.”

We ran two SOLE sessions with the question provided from Newcastle University – “Why are there fewer women in technology related jobs?”

James and Reuben joined us from Newcastle University on the robot for the year 7 sessions and in person for the other session with year 9.

The SOLE session was fascinating and uncovered some different perceptions.
Some said that women and men should have different role and that some jobs were designed for women and some for men. Aptitudes were discussed and debated.
Some gave some fascinating stats about men and women in these roles.
Some talked about a male dominated environment and how this can be off putting to some women
Some talked about the experiences you have when you are young and the opportunities you have may affect your choices.

I personally found it curious to hear some of the perceptions and to discover that some of the young people may have felt that certain jobs were possible for them and other jobs were only for other people.
We look forward to following this up and exploring their ideas further.