I spent much of the last week on a programme for a few schools. It's the same programme, but the company I'm working with has rolled it out into numerous different schools. It's F1 in schools.
Of course, the students don't get to race an actual car. Instead, they race car models that they sand down (from the rough form) and paint after they design it. Of course, there is a fair bit of theory and explanations, which isn't nearly as engaging as getting their hands dirty.
The difficulty comes when there is a little too much time allocated to theory and not enough activities to do. Of course, I could easily come up with a whole slew of stuff to engage them, but I can't assume that the school will be fine with me deviating from the main subject, which is to bring the F1 in schools programme to the students.
All in all, it's pretty clear that hands-on activities are far more popular than theory and even designing. Now, if only there's a way to get more of them.
I've always felt that the education system lacks emphasis on physical skills. Yes, there is woodworking and plastic molding in Design & Technology (D&T), but it's not quite the same, is it? What about day-to-day needed knowledge like changing a light bulb, fixing a leaky tap or sewing a fallen button?
Sure, they seem mundane and unglamorous, but these are useful skills. As much as doctors, lawyers and engineers are important, so are mechanics, repair workers and electricians. Daily life isn't about glamour and glitz, as much as the media may try to say otherwise. It's about having the know-how and applying it properly.
Here's to hoping for a better-skilled future, where people know how to build, cook and create!