Vodafone partners with Primary Engineer to bring data into the classroom

Published:  27 November, 2020

Vodafone has become a national funding partner for the Primary Engineer STATWARS Competition, it was recently announced.

The competition consists of two free-toschool projects, STATWARS Climate Change Challenge and STATWARS Film & TV, both designed to inspire and educate young people about the power of data in decision making, the role it will play in their future careers, and the need for future professionals with data skills. As an educational project, it focuses on using data to deliver meaningful and engaging mathematics, data handling and data visualising skills to pupils in primary and secondary schools across the UK.

Johan Wibergh, Vodafone Group’s chief technology officer, explained: “Demand for digital skills outstrips the supply of available talent. We need to engage with students about how timely, anonymised data can address issues that matter to them, whether they’re using it to predict floods or creating safe corridors for endangered animals.

“Also, many young people may not have access to the skills needed to prepare them for the digital economy. In partnership with Primary Engineer, we can help empower young people by providing the digital skills they need to thrive. We aim to establish similar partnerships with organisations in other countries in which we operate.”

Both the STATWARS Climate Change Challenge and STATWARS Film & TV encourage and develop meta skills related to teamwork, communication, leadership, curiosity, empathy, critical thinking and resilience, as teams collaborate on indeterminate problems and develop data-driven solutions. Both projects provide free-to-school teaching resources including lesson plans, activity sheets and video tutorials, as well as live interviews and skills sessions with experts. Pupils then submit answers in the form of a poster, infographic or presentation, with judges selecting winners.

Dr Susan Scurlock MBE, CEO and Founder of Primary Engineer, added: “We are thrilled that Vodafone with their newly announced environmental pledges is joining us in our mission to empower pupils through data. Young people are asking not only for action on climate change but to be better informed so they can be part of the discussion. The STATWARS Climate Change Challenge is designed to enable pupils to use data to drive their decision-making process. This helps them identify the things they can do to tackle climate change, and highlights these issues within the curriculum.”

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