The importance of technology increases in society as it improves our everyday life and makes life easier and better for many people. The rapid development means a high demand for more skills, and to meet this demand many more young people must choose programmes in natural sciences and technology in upper secondary school and at university.
“The hunt for technicians” makes a difference
“The hunt for technicians” at the University of Gävle aims to stimulate children’s and young people’s interest in natural sciences and technology. The Ljungberg foundation now invests in the project which is to be completed in 2021.
Undoubtedly, “The hunt for technicians” has increased interest in natural sciences and technology. At the University of Gävle, the proportion of applicants to technological programmes is above the national average and for the University’s engineering programmes the number of first choice applicants increased by 31 percent last year and by another 19 percent this year.
“Our work to increase interest has a long-term perspective in our focus on pre-schools, but also a short-term one, in our focus to increase interest in our own engineering programmes,” says Magnus Lemoine, project manager for “The hunt for technicians.”
Robots in pre-schools
On a national level, pre-schools in Gävle and Älvkarleby are at the top concerning robot density. Moreover, comprehensive and upper secondary schools in Gävle and Älvkarleby have carried out 46 different projects in the last three years.
The University’s students act as role models during visits to upper secondary schools together with engineers from the local business sector, who tell pupils about their profession.
“Bodes well for the future”
“In three years, almost 9000 potential pupils/students and more than 1500 teachers and representatives for the business sector have been involved, and we can now see that there is an interest in natural sciences and technology which bodes well for the future,” Magnus Lemoine says.
“What is so good about the ‘The hunt for technicians’ is that pupils get in contact with the University and that lowers the threshold for applying to programmes in natural sciences and technology. Moreover, it is very rewarding to see the great commitment from the schools and from the business sector and to see that the applicants per place ratio also increases,” says Gunilla Mårtensson, dean at the Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
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Magnus Lemoine, project manager for “The hunt for technicians” at the University of Gävle.
Text: Douglas Öhrbom