Can you meet this design challenge?

What we do:

Futurum Careers is a free online resource and magazine aimed at encouraging 14-19-year-olds worldwide to pursue careers in science, tech, engineering, maths, medicine (STEM) and research. We work with academics all over the world and translate their research into free education resources that can be used in the classroom, at home and in STEM and STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, social sciences, humanities and maths) clubs.

Why we do it:

We are passionate about STEM and STEAM education and we’re passionate about science communication. Why not combine the two?

Futurum is here because we want to help teachers deliver a high quality, broadened STEAM education that will invigorate their students’ desire to learn. We want to help scientists and researchers communicate their work to a global audience of teenagers, young adults and teachers. We want to offer teenagers and young adults – regardless of their gender, race of background – the knowledge and confidence to study STEAMM subjects – and, in turn, social mobility.

Our ultimate aim is to help students (and teachers help students) connect the subjects they are learning with real-world careers in STEAM. In the UK, Ofsted now ranks schools according to their application of Gatsby Benchmarks. The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. When schools and teachers use our content, we can support them in meeting Gatsby Benchmarks 2, Learning from career and labour market information; 4, Linking curriculum learning to careers; 5 Encounters with employers and employees; and 7 Encounters with further and higher education. The US equivalent is the NGSS – Next Generation Science Standards.

Our mission is to enable researchers to inspire, teachers to motivate, and students to aspire.

How we work with researchers:

As the name Futurum suggests, we are always looking ahead, which is why we feel strongly about the importance of sharing knowledge and innovation, and why we ensure that research is communicated in an accessible and engaging manner, to an audience that is keen to learn.

We get to know our researchers’ work, use our expertise to craft teacher and student-friendly learning resources, and ensure our researchers are proud of the materials we share with the public on their behalf.

Increasing STEM skills is a global priority and Futurum is gratified by connecting experts from all over the world with the next generation of researchers. We ensure real impact is achieved by getting researcher’s work in front of teachers, from a source they trust and in a format they can use easily.

How we support teachers:

Every teacher wants to challenge their students and to pass on the passion for their subject that made them work in education in the first place. In the real world of heavy teaching timetables and minimal planning time, however, we know that teachers can struggle to provide learning experiences that broaden their students’ knowledge and understanding beyond the confines of exam specifications.

Our job is to provide free, stimulating and high-quality resources that enable teachers to stretch their students that little bit more, and take them beyond the classroom and into the innovative world of contemporary research.

The resources we provide for teachers foster engagement, curiosity and independent learning, while showcasing career options available to young people.

Meet the Futurum team

Imagine seeing something you have designed being sold in a shop, knowing that someone has selected your product from an array of others as the one they want to pay money for and take home with them. Now, imagine the shop is in the Design Museum in London! What fantastic confirmation that you have both the design and business skills to produce something of real worth.

Open to all UK state schools, Design Ventura challenges students from years 9 – 11 to design a product for the Design Museum Shop, with the winning team seeing their product developed, manufactured and sold to real customers.

Launched in 2010, this established competition has seen tens of thousands of students taking part and this is your chance to join them. The design brief for 2020 is set out by London-based artist and designer, Yinka Ilori, whose bright and vibrant work is sure to inspire you.

Here’s the brief he’s setting you:

  • Working in teams of 4 to 6, allocate roles, make the most of your individual skills and talents and work as a team, listening to and supporting each other.
  • Design a product that improves everyday life.
  • Focus on a specific target audience – adult design enthusiasts, young people and students, or families.
  • Research your target audience – what are their needs, interests and purchasing habits?
  • Design a product that will cost no more than £10 to buy. Remember, this is a business and design competition, so you want to design something appealing and profitable. Aim for a maximum spend of £5 per item for manufacturing and packaging.
  • Think about how you can ensure your product is ethical and sustainable.

If your team is lucky – and skilled – enough to get through to the top ten, you will be invited to pitch your design idea at Deutsche Bank London’s head office in March 2021 – a unique opportunity to show off your amazing design and put your communication skills to the test! The winning team will be announced at an event at the Design Museum itself.

Click here to register for Design Ventura.

The online project guide includes a wealth of resources to help you research, design, refine and pitch your product.

If you are from an international or independent school, contact Design Ventura to find out about the challenge devised for you.

And if you are in years 7 or 8, you have not been left out – autumn 2020 will see Design Ventura holding online mini challenges especially for you.

Best of luck, everyone!