Why are we doing this?
Digital technologies touch every aspect of life and business – but most people just use them and relatively few create them. We want to mobilise a generation of young people with the drive, confidence and know-how to understand how technology works and make their own new technology – whether websites, apps, hardware, games or innovations we haven’t yet imagined.
What have we been doing?
Our Digital Makers programme has been developed with our partners Nominet Trust and the Scottish Government with support from Mozilla and Autodesk. Together, we have been working at a variety of levels (from research and grant-making to campaigning) to enable a generation of young people to create with digital technologies.
A website created by a group of like-minded organisations who want to inspire and support young people to become creators of digital technologies. By working together, we hope to have a bigger impact on the lives of young people.
The website is a comprehensive directory of the people behind the digital making clubs, workshops, events and kits going on across the country. It also helps the digital making community find useful events and resources. Originally a campaign website aimed at young people, it has now evolved into one aimed at providers of digital making opportunities, teachers, policy makers, funders, partners and parents.
The partners behind Make Things Do Stuff share a common set of values:
Digital technology is a tool to change the world; knowing how to harness it is a fundamental literacy for the 21st century.
We learn through making and sharing.
We work better together - this is an open movement, and collaboration and sharing are key to its success.
If you share our values we’d love to work with you - sign up to be a Make Things Do Stuff partner.
Digital Makers Fund
Working with the Nominet Trust and in partnership with Mozilla and Autodesk, we backed fourteen organisations with bright ideas for significantly increasing the number of young people who participate in digital making. These organisations received a share of £520,000 – up to £50,000 each – and non-financial support to scale their projects and reach more young people.
You can find out more about the organisations we’ve helped on the Portfolio page.
Schools in Scotland
Computing teacher Kate Farrell was seconded to our team in Scotland to work on a range of digital making CPD support programmes for teachers at primary and secondary school level. We ran five One Day Digital events (industry masterclasses on digital making), tested CPD support and new digital making lesson plans in a cluster of schools, and set up Digital Creativity support networks in geographic clusters.
Working with filmmaker Baroness Beeban Kidron, we supported the iRights campaign for how we should engage with children and young people in the digital world. With Nesta funding, the campaign developed and published a manifesto based on five simple principles, created a youth jury programme looking at how the digital world affects young people’s lives, and had a significant speaking presence at the Web We Want Festival.
Longitude Explorer Prize
What have we learnt?
We’ve been carrying out research and learning from our projects throughout our work on digital makers. In 2011 we published Next Gen., which called for Computing to be part of the national curriculum. The next year, then-Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove announced a consultation to disapply the dull and insufficiently demanding ICT curriculum, and a drive to encourage more creative and rigorous computer science teaching at schools. Today, computing is part of the national curriculum.
In 2012 we launched our influential report Plan I, which recommended “remaking education for a digital age”. The same year, we published The legacy of BBC Micro, which explored the legacy of the Computer Literacy Project and recommending ways of engaging people in the creative uses of computing.
Our 2015 report Young Digital Makers surveyed the opportunities and identified gaps for young people to create with technology across the UK. The same year, working with the Tech Partnership, we published a toolkit for businesses who were considering directing employee volunteering time towards supporting young people in developing digital skills, Building the Digital Talent Pipeline.
Watch our video
Our animation showcases the work we've been doing to encourage and enable young people to create their own technology
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We're looking at the proof, promise and potential of digital education