DOT brings together the expertise of the Faculty of Education and the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge. DOT has developed its resources with industry experts, teachers and pupils. DOT partners bring authentic engineering practice into the classroom. It is made an integral part of the lessons through informing:
- Thinking Tools (not just hand-tools)
- Process and methods
- Project case studies
- Engineer profiles and careers.
The DOT teaching philosophy is backed up by academic research. DOT resources map to the new National Curriculum and GCSE Specifications for D&T in England and Wales and align with the STEM agenda.
The Hole at the Heart of STEM
Science and maths help to explain the world around us and engineering and technology applies this knowledge to solve problems. Much of STEM teaching fails to address the societal need and context which makes learning meaningful. DOT understands that context is critical to the engagement of pupils and as such immerses them in the solving of real-world problems.
The Faculty of Education and the Engineering Department started collaborating in 2009 bringing together two long-term, world-class areas of research in inclusive design and creativity in education. This led to an initial EPSRC funded project called Designing Our Tomorrow (DOT) in conjunction with Loughborough University and the Royal College of Art who were partners in the inclusive design research through the i-design programme.
Since this initial project the DOT team has worked on various projects with partners to develop resources for schools leading
to their public launch in May 2017 to address the needs of the revised Design & Technology Curriculum.
DOT looks to partners to bring authentic problems and practice into the classroom, providing early secondary school students with a way to affect the world around them through engineering and design. Partners to date have included: ARM; Peter Brett Associates; RAEng; Engineering, EPSRC; ESRC; and British Printing Industry Federation.