Derby Moor Spencer Academy hosts Maggie Philbin for TeenTethics initiative pilot
Mrs Philbin, who hosted Tomorrow’s World and founded the TeenTech charity, brought STEM industry professionals to work with students to develop ideas for ethical innovation in technology.
Derby Moor Spencer Academy was recently visited by Maggie Philbin, OBE to launch a new TeenTethics programme under the umbrella of her charity TeenTech in order to develop ideas for ethical innovation in STEM fields.
Mrs Philbin was accompanied by STEM ambassadors from TeenTech, Atkins Realis, IBM and University of Derby to lead workshops that culminated in a Youth Charter for Ethical Innovation. Year 8 students, along with selected members of Year 11, also explored various STEM careers and communication skills with guidance from current industry professionals and brainstormed innovations to make life in the future simpler.
The TeenTethics initiative will be released nationally early in 2024 to bring students around the country exposure to the variety of roles within STEM and the vital role of incorporating ethics in technological development. Derby Moor Spencer Academy was selected to pilot the programme after a history of robust participation in the TeenTech competition. Tanvir Tamber, a student in Year 10, was the winner in 2022 and runner up in 2023, and Carol Ezis, a PSHCE teacher at the school, was Teacher of the Year in 2022 and runner up in 2023.
The students’ Charter was thoughtful and robust, including provisions to give careful thought to accessibility of inventions for people with disabilities; guarding against offending people of various religions and cultures; and serious efforts to avoid pollution and promote sustainable materials.
Their proposed innovations were equally creative, prioritising the ethics in innovation and addressing pressing concerns of today’s society. Ideas included an app to detect early signs of dementia, a companion robot to combat loneliness in the elderly, medical sensors to signal drone deliveries of medication for emergency situations such as anaphylaxis and a product to measure the recyclability of materials.
“All our visitors were seriously impressed with the intriguing ideas our students devised,” said Mrs Ezis, the award-winning educator who coordinated the event. “We are privileged to have been chosen as a pilot school to help develop the workshop format, whilst benefiting tremendously from the chance to hear from and question representatives from so many potential STEM careers.”
“I’d no idea how many different forms of engineering there were,” said one student. Another participant said, “It’s made me realise there are a lot of jobs I’ve never heard of and they could be really interesting.”