'Youth Made Initiative' is a collaboration of education and industry to help to try and contextualize Design & Technology for students. It began in Malaysia (see www.youthmademalaysia.com) just over 12 months ago and it has now grown to 3 countries. Basically companies agree to help schools on a range of things - visits, work experience, live design briefs, competitions, training, whatever they can, whenever they can. It is all completely free and with no formal commitment from schools or companies. In Malaysia there are now 30 companies and 15 schools working together, impacting thousands of students. Local STEM and design events are posted on the website and students and parents sign up to get notifications of these direct to their inbox.
After an exciting year and building up case studies and examples, teachers in Dubai and Singapore heard about the idea and it is being implemented there too.
It seems obvious to learn from industry. Technology curriculums are out-of-date as soon as they get to the classroom, never mind when they go through such long government validation processes. Whilst the core examination courses remain, teachers have the opportunity to link projects with real companies to show students why they are learning what they are, and what future pathways are open to them.