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Headlines from Data in Our Lives

Over the past six months, the Ignite! team has been working on a project with the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity called Digital Futures: Data in Our Lives. Supported by D2N2, the project seeks to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of digital skills, especially data, and associated skills and careers amongst young people across Nottinghamshire.

Between January and June 2022, the project has been delivered in eight secondary schools across Nottinghamshire, engaging over 900 young people in conversations and creative thinking activities about the role of data in all of our lives.

We've worked with fifteen volunteers from seven different organisations who've engaged pupils in how they use data in their jobs, and how the sectors they work in have changed because of the use of data. Pupils have explored how they come into contact with data every day - from the moment they put the kettle on in the morning, to the moment they mute their phones at night - and explored how data will be used in careers their interested in, from vets to business owners to lawyers for formula one engineers.

Above (left to right): Volunteers beaming on online at Toot Hill School, and delivering in-person presentations at Bulwell Academy.

After the sessions, 54.9% of pupils thought that digital skills, like understanding data, will be ‘really important’ in the future (44.2% ‘kind of important). Furthermore, on their feedback forms, pupils used terms like ‘analytics’, ‘granulation’, ‘upward trends’ and ‘insight’ as well as ‘workplace’ on the feedback forms, demonstrating an increased awareness of the role of digital skills in future careers. Pupils discovered that 'Analysing data and looking and changing it is used in most jobs now', 'I thought data was only to do with computers whereas it is to do with nearly everything' and even 'I realised my phone knows a lot'.

Above: Pupils' ideas for how data will be used in their future jobs

We'd like to thank everyone who's been involved in the project over the past year, and we're very much looking forward to working with D2N2 and other partners again in the future to develop this pilot further. Watch this space!


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