Yates took over at Hayesfield girls' school in Bath in January. It was already one of the best state secondaries in the country at teaching design and technology, thanks in part to a pounds 75,000 grant from the
The foundation - the brainchild of the British inventor famous for his household innovations - hopes to encourage students to become engineers and designers.
Thanks to the foundation's funds, Hayesfield has an industrial laser cutter and multi-axis router - a computer-controlled sculpting machine - six 3D printers and other hi-tech equipment, including computer-aided design (CAD) software used in manufacturing. The foundation has given four other schools in Bath, near Dyson's headquarters, similar equipment.
Dyson was involved in drafting the revised national curriculum on design and technology introduced last year. He says his pilot scheme in Bath is not just about donating whizz-bang equipment, but selling the idea of a career in engineering.
"By the time today's schoolchildren are of working age, the
In Hayesfield's design studio, which was recently refurbished and extended at a cost of pounds 800,000, Matahilde George, a year 8 pupil, is using software to design a propeller using an industrial laser cutter. She says she has more freedom to do what she wants in design and technology lessons compared with other subjects. And yes, she would consider a career in engineering or design. A third of Hayesfield's 100 students who sat design and technology GCSE last year achieved an A* or A, but the real test will come when the pupils who have benefited from Dyson's investment choose their A-levels and degree subjects.
Akosua Lune and
The pilot scheme started in
Pupils test a propeller-powered vehicle with parts made using a 3D printer at Hayesfield school for girls, near Bath Photograph:
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