Hands-on workshops inspire next generation in Children’s University partnership

Students and staff at Ron Dearing UTC are helping to inspire the next generation in a thriving partnership with Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University.

The charity is committed to building the confidence, self-esteem and aspirations of young people living in areas of high deprivation by providing a diverse range of unique and exciting experiences which bring learning to life outside the classroom.

Ron Dearing UTC has held a series of workshops for youngsters since the school opened its doors in 2017. This year’s sessions focused on several areas including F1 in Schools, the world’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition, led by Ron Dearing UTC students participating in the global challenge.

Other sessions centred around engineering, virtual reality (VR) experiences and tours of the UTC’s state-of-the-art facilities.

Most recently, Ron Dearing UTC teamed up with the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) in Hull, enabling year six children from Christopher Pickering Primary School and year five pupils from The Parks Primary Academy to meet business representatives based in the tech hub.

Primary school pupils enjoying a digital workshop at Ron Dearing UTC.


The youngsters, who are gifted and talented in technology and coding, spent the morning with David Keel, Chairman of C4DI, and representatives from brand management and packaging company T=0, drone videography operators Octovision Media, smart tech company Sauce and Barclays bank, completing tasks and competitions.

They then visited the UTC in Hull’s Kingston Square for a digital experience and an introduction to computer programming, working with micro:bits and creating their own Harry Potter-based “sorting hat” to understand the detail behind the technology.

Mark Ollerenshaw, Vice Principal for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re really proud of our partnership with Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University and the latest session we ran alongside one of our Major Partners C4DI for the first time.

“We’re offering children the opportunity to see what we do and broaden their horizons. It gives them a fun introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) activities while helping them to understand the type of education they could have to reach their future goals.

“We’re looking forward to continuing the partnership, seeing how it develops and inspiring more young people for years to come.”

Pupils visiting smart tech company Sauce, in C4DI.


Jessica Gibson, Schools Liaison Manager at Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University, said: “The sessions with C4DI and Ron Dearing UTC offered an amazing hands-on experience to show children more about tech jobs in Hull. If they’re creative and have an interest in computers there are lots of careers for them to think about.

“We want to make them proud of the city and show them there is so much opportunity in tech for the next generation. It also gives the UTC an opportunity to spot talent early on and gives the children something to aspire to if they wish to study there in the future.”

Amy Gibbs, 11, a year six pupil at Christopher Pickering Primary School, said: “We found out about jobs and careers we might be interested in. I found the day really interesting and fun.”

Fellow year six pupil Tyler Hall, 11, who also attends Christopher Pickering Primary School, said: “The day was fabulous and I really enjoyed it. I’m interested in technology and making things and I would like to be a student at Ron Dearing UTC in the future.”

For more information about Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University visit www.hullchildrensuniversity.com