Bristol’s Engine Shed aims to widen access to city’s tech sector with series of tours for school kids

February 6, 2020

Schoolchildren from across the West of England are getting a chance to find out more about opportunities in the region’s tech sector as part of a scheme launched by Bristol’s Engine Shed innovation hub.

The first of its Tech Tours took place in January when youngsters from Blackhorse Primary School,Emersons Green, visited for a free day of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) activities. 

Held in partnership with leading privately-owned IT and business consultancy BJSS and Ultraleap, the Bristol-based mid-air touch technology innovators, the tours are part of Engine Shed’s Diverse Workforce for the Future programme, which works with partners to help raise awareness of opportunities for young people and engage them with the workplace.

The tours aim to inspire primary and early secondary school children about the diversity of creative and tech jobs in the region, and to ignite in them a long-term interest in STEAM subjects to pursue their career goals.

Each tour includes a coding workshop with BJSS and DigiLocal, the Bristol organisation that supports communities by running tech clubs for young people, a business workshop with incubator SETsquared Bristol and a visit to Ultraleap’s Experience Room, where pupils experience the magic of mid-air haptics and 3D hand tracking.

The day concludes with a tour of Brunel’s historic Engine Shed, where the children can see the different types of working environments on offer – from office spaces to co-working and flexible day spaces – and witness some exciting tech businesses in action.

Engine Shed partnerships manager Lorraine Fairbanks said: “We are so pleased to be able to offer these new tours with some fantastic partners. We aim to give young people inspiration that there are exciting tech and creative jobs in the region and to show them how to access free resources to continue their journey into these sectors.”

BJSS head of delivery Konrad Empacher added: “We want a balanced tech sector filled with opportunities. We are doing our part by inspiring young people to participate in our industry. By partnering with Engine Shed for Tech Tours, we will inspire even more young people to learn more about technology and ensure that they are not excluded from the digital future.”

Ultraleap co-founder and chief technology officer Tom Carter said, as a company born out of the University of Bristol and with firm roots in the area, it was proud to support initiatives that helped raise awareness of the opportunities tech can provide for all young people.

“We hope to give their learnings real world connections and demonstrate the positive impact they can have on the future of the world, so it becomes more likely that they will develop a passion for STEAM and pursue it as a career,” he said.

The tours are for year groups 5 to 8 (ages 9-13) for a class of approximately 30 children. They take place every month during school term time until November and include free transport to and from schools in the West of England.

To find out more about Tech Tours, contact

Pictured: Children from Blackhorse Primary School enjoy a coding workshop using Scratch on their Engine Shed Tech Tour



Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.