Technocamps wins prestigious STEM award

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Technocamps has been named Informatics Europe’s 2022 Best Practices in Education Award winner.

Technocamps is a Welsh Government-funded STEM outreach programme with hubs in every university across the country. Its main goal is digitally upskilling children and adults in Wales and has now gained International recognition for its innovative educational practices.

Organised by Informatics Europe and sponsored by Microsoft, the Best Practices in Education Award was presented at a special ceremony on 25 October 2022, during the 18th European Computer Science Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

This year, the award honoured Technocamps as an outstanding educational initiative that is dedicated to educating the workforce for the digital transformation.

Prof Faron Moller, Director of Technocamps, received the Award on behalf of Technocamps. During his winning presentation, he noted, “Wales has a population spread out over a vast region. It has a rugged geography and few fast roads; and its secondary schools have an average catchment area of over 100 sq km. With Technocamps, we’ve overcome these challenges and established an effective means to engage with and upskill the various communities in Wales. We provide young people with inspirational workshops; their teachers with much-needed professional development; and everyone with opportunities which tackle the social mobility issues that can arise from geographical isolation. We are immensely proud to have our efforts recognised by this prestigious award from Informatics Europe, and hope that other regions in Europe facing similar challenges can benefit from our experiences.”

Professor Jean-Marc Jézéquel (IRISA/University of Rennes, France), Vice President of Informatics Europe and member of this year’s Award Committee congratulates Technocamps for winning this year’s Best Practices in Education Award. He says, “For this year’s Award, all the proposals presented have received very good evaluations by the members of the Award Committee, but the winner, Technocamps, was unanimously evaluated in first place. The Committee is particularly impressed by Technocamps’ efforts in driving the reform of Informatics education across the whole of Wales. Technocamps undoubtedly deserves the title ‘Best Practices in Education’.”

Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, says, “The recognition of Technocamps’ work as an outstanding educational initiative engaging with and upskilling different communities across Wales is to be celebrated, and I congratulate them on winning this award. By tackling the impact of poverty on attainment through initiatives like this, we can support every learner to realise their ambitions.”

Dr Evelyne Viegas, Senior Director of Global Research Engagement at Microsoft Research, says, “Microsoft is continually inspired by the strong nominations received for the Informatics Europe Best Practices in Education Award. With Technocamps’ mission to foster sustainable digital skills, we hope that the Award will encourage organizations and institutions to initiate similar endeavours and support a multidisciplinary approach to lifelong learning and education in Informatics”.