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Johnny To Launch £2.3m Hi-Tech School Effort

Children’s TV presenter Johnny Ball will be opening more young minds to the wonders of science in Coventry next week when he launches a £2.3 million engineering education programme.

Johnny BallJohnny (right), who presented Play School for 16 years and made children’s science popular with Think Of A Number, will be at Stoke Park School and Community Technology College on Monday for the start of the Technology Enhancement Programme (TEP).

The aim of the programme is to train, educate, and motivate young people by giving them practical skills that will help industry in the future.

Johnny, father of Zoe Ball, will be giving his support to the project which will give schools and colleges new resources to come up with new ways of teaching technical subjects.

The scheme is funded by the Gatsby Technical Education Programme and will be managed by the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick.

Working with the 14-19 age group, the programme aims to give schools access to modern technology at a low cost and to provide training for 10,000 teachers over the next three years.

WMG was chosen to manage the project as it is already involved in programmes to improve the perception of technical, engineering and manufacturing in schools.

The efforts of the group, based at the Unviersity of Warwick, includes the distribution of free CAD/CAM software, and a programme helping 55 schools to set up their own engineering design partnership, backed by BAe, to design their own jumbo jet.

WMG director, Professor Kumar Bhattacharyya, said:

"One of WMG's aims in the new programme is to develop a demonstrator of the school workshop of the future, a workshop that would include automation, robotics, CAD/CAM, new materials from plastics, composites, metals and natural materials."

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CWN / Education / University of Warwick / 2 Feb 01
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