FROM AN EARLY AGE WE’RE ASKED TO CHOOSE: ART OR SCIENCE? CREATIVITY OR ANALYSIS? BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ONE OR THE OTHER. DESIGN AND ENGINEERING’S A MIDDLE GROUND, WHERE BOTH DISCIPLINES ARE EQUALLY CRUCIAL.
WE'RE WORKING TO INSPIRE AND SUPPORT FUTURE EDISONS AND BRUNELS. HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS WE ARE DOING THIS:
ENGINEERING LAB LAUNCHES IN CANADA
On Dec, 1st, 2011 the James Dyson Foundation opened its first interactive exhibit at the Science World, Vancouver. Science World Canada is a non-profit organisation that engages young people in science and technology. With up to 5,000 visitors every day, up to 10 million children will get hands-on in the James Dyson Foundation classroom. Apart from the hands-on product analysis activites waiting for them in the classroom, the young visitors will be able to explore engineering airflow principles in the Explore area. To celebrate the launch of the exhibit, we've also created the Engineering lab online.
NEW RESOURCE FROM AWARD WINNING TEACHER
The James Dyson Foundation, teacher of the year 2011, Steve Parkinson from Archbishops Holgate’s school in York, has created a lesson plan and presentation which tasks students to create their own product – anything from protective clothing for an army officer serving in Afghanistan to a power tool for a family living in the jungle.
THE JAMES DYSON FOUNDATION LAUNCHES IN AMERICA
On May 5, James Dyson hosted a design workshop for young students in Chicago to mark the launch of the James Dyson Foundation in the US. The workshop was held at Sir Miles Davis Academy, one of few schools in Chicago that offers engineering curriculum to students from kindergarten through 8th grade.
Along with James Dyson, engineering mentors worked with students to think beyond the everyday. Challenged to 'redesign an everyday machine that frustrates you', middle schoolers from Chicago Public Schools thought creatively, sketched and modelled their designs at Sir Miles Davis Academy’s "invention gym."
Brains were given a workout as the James Dyson Foundation began its mission to encourage more American students to become future engineers and inventors. Prototypes from Dyson and local companies were also on display.
James Dyson said: "Young people have an innate inventive streak. They’re not stifled by experience – they take risks and are excellent problem-solvers. They fail everyday – exactly the making of a great engineer. We’re encouraging children to use their hands and heads, make mistakes and learn."
For the launch, the Foundation was joined by local and national organizations to bring engineering to life for the students. Children learned about 3D printing with tools from Argonne National Laboratories, took an in depth look at skin cells with design firm, IDEO, and discovered how robots are made with FIRST robotics. Chicago education leaders were also in attendance, including President of Chicago Board of Education Mary Richardson-Lowry, Deputy CEO of External Affairs and Partnerships for CPS Barbara Lumpkin, along with influential STEM advocates Jon Dudas, President of FIRST Robotics and Tony Jones, President of the School of the Art Institute (and the Foundation’s chairman).
Initially, the Foundation will concentrate its efforts in Chicago, working with Chicago Public Schools to establish 20 after school engineering clubs. The Foundation will also offer our Education Box, a reverse engineering resource, to Chicago schools with teacher development. The engineering clubs and Education Box will launch in the 2011/2012 school year followed shortly by teacher training tools and university scholarships.
The Design and Technology Association Excellence Awards 2011
Brilliant UK D&T teachers came together on Friday, 4th March for the Design and Technology Association Excellence Awards.
Well done to Steven Parkinson from Archbishop Holgate’s School in Yorkshire, who won the JDF Teacher of the Year Award.
Steven has achieved excellent results at his school and in the wider D&T community. He is an inspiring and vibrant teacher.
Dyson engineer, Paul Reid presented Steven with a cyclone trophy. In his speech, Paul recalled making water rockets on the school playing field with a fizzy drink bottle. He said it had been his inspiring D&T teacher who had given him the enthusiasm for design and engineering.
The event was held at the Institute of Engineering Technology, London. The James Dyson Foundation funds the award.
THE RCA DYSON BUILDING ‘TOPPING OUT’ CEREMONY
James Dyson scaled the roof of the Royal College of Art’s new building in Battersea, calling for more commitment to design and engineering. The ‘topping out’ ceremony marked the completion of the highest point of the new Dyson building, to which the James Dyson Foundation has donated £5 million.
Having performed the topping out over impressive views of London and the River Thames, Sir James called for increased protection of design and engineering degree courses. As fees are hiked, and universities squeezed by budget cuts, he emphasised the importance of protecting excellence in design and technology.
The building will provide a lecture theatre, gallery space, studios and 40 business incubator units – that will encourage the UK’s next generation of design engineers to take the plunge and start their own ventures.
The idea of supporting good ideas with business expertise stems from James Dyson’s own experience as an inventor who was determined to develop bagless vacuum technology and launch a business in a recession.
James Dyson said:
“As a nation we’ve become too scared to take risks, but it’s through experimentation and failure that new ideas are born. Young people need confidence to be inventive and the support to be bold.
The RCA’s incubator units will provide the right environment, resources and moral support for new start-up ideas at the time when they are most fragile. Now more than ever, the UK needs to create and export inventions the world wants to buy.”
The Rector of the Royal College of Art, Dr Paul Thompson said:
“Today marks the realisation of the vision of so many members of the RCA community as we make this building a reality, ensuring that students, staff and design entrepreneurs can learn and work in state-of-the-art facilities.”
Rolls-Royce Science Prize
James addressed the winners of the 2010 Rolls-Royce Science Prize, which celebrates and rewards excellence in science teaching. In his speech to an audience of scientists and engineers at the Science Museum, he called for a return to a wartime spirit of invention in order to compete against growing global competition. He said: "Our only alternative to survive and prosper is to develop more new technology, to file more patents and to engineer better products."
James also emphasised the importance of high quality education and called for more science teachers as well as giving all children the chance to study Design & Technology at school – a subject that truly sparks children’s appetite for making things. Following the announcement of the James Dyson Award 2010 winners, James also highlighted the need for more ingenious minds and more engineers in the UK. He said: "With strong teachers and a curriculum that edges rote towards risk, we will produce more and more creative problem solvers here in Britain".Click here to read the full speech
GENIUS OF BRITAIN
In a major science series, shown over five nights on Channel 4, James Dyson along with Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, David Attenborough and Robert Winston celebrated the great thinkers and moments in British science, from Newton to the present day.
James Dyson presented the stories of Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke, James Watt, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Michael Faraday and Frank Whittle.Click here to learn more
In 'Ingenious Britain', James Dyson calls for government to reawaken Britain’s innate creativity and competitive spirit. It looks at ways in which government can inspire young people to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths; raise the cultural importance of engineering; make better commercial use of the ideas that come out of universities; and provide financial support for start-ups and existing high tech companies to flourish.
James has drawn on the knowledge of fellow champions of British manufacturing including: Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman of JCB; Sir Christopher Gent, Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline and Sir John Rose, Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce. With advice from these leading figures, James has developed a series of policy suggestions aimed at boosting Britain’s economy by inspiring and incentivising real, long-term action to make Britain a leading high tech nation.
The Liberal and Conservative coalition has pledged to consider the implementation of the Dyson Review to make the UK the leading high tech exporter in Europe, and refocus the research and development tax credit on high tech companies, small firms and start-ups.Click here to learn more
In February 2009, the James Dyson Foundation donated £5 million to the Royal College of Art. It will fund a new building (to open in 2012) dedicated to young design and engineering potential. Along with the usual lecture halls and studios, the proposed structure has 40 incubator units – students will set up design businesses, experiment and develop ideas, all under the guidance and support of the Royal College of Art.
James Dyson said: "It's vital that we give young people the confidence to be inventive and the support to take risks. It’s through experimentation and failure that new ideas are born. As a nation we’ve become scared of taking risks, but I see risk and problem solving going hand in hand."
Watch a video put together by one of our teachers.
Sketching an idea, making a scale model and taking things apart to see how they actually work. Often the best way to learn is through a hands-on approach. So, with the help of teachers, we put together an educational resource helping young people to get an idea of what it’s like to be a design engineer. The Education Box contains a DC22 vacuum cleaner and the tools to help dismantle it. Students will explore how and why things are made and analyse each element of the design: material, construction, function...
Through a four-week loan period, teachers can emphasise that making mistakes can be positive – the only way to discover what works (and what doesn’t).
The box is free to schools, colleges and universities – we deliver it and arrange collection when the four weeks are up.
You can also download our new hands-on product analysis and reverse engineering resources which work alongside the Education box.
Each year Dyson design engineers and scientists visit universities, colleges and schools across the UK. They share their design expertise with enthusiastic young people. Workshops give students a hands-on opportunity to try some of the methods key to Dyson's creative force: teamwork, sketching to communicate ideas and simple 3D modelling. This hands-on work is really valuable, but unfortunately, the James Dyson Foundation can’t visit every school. So if you’d like to get involved with the Foundation, why not first borrow the James Dyson Foundation Education Box?
We’ve also put together a set of materials to be used within classrooms and studios – posters, model kits, videos and presentations. They can be used with or without the Education Box and show that design engineering is an exciting, vital career.
BURSARIES & GRANTS
Budding designers and engineers have it tough. There’s little money available to them, which means little time to work on anything else – new ideas, solving problems, fine-tuning their inventions. Each year we give away a number of bursaries to students at the Royal College of Art, Bath University, and most recently, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. These bursaries help students to turn good ideas into viable products and research – and importantly, promising career opportunities too.