James Dyson Foundation’s virtual workshops with primary schools

Published 16th January 2024

Creating meaningful connections between students and the real world of industry is a cornerstone of preparing young minds for the future, and the Design and Technology Association proudly supports initiatives that bridge this gap. A recent success story involves Boxmoor Primary School, which collaborated with Blueprint 1000 member, The James Dyson Foundation, in a series of engaging virtual workshops. We spoke to Primary teacher Victoria Martyn to delve into the school's experience and the impact of this innovative collaboration.

The Setup

Boxmoor Primary School seized the opportunity to participate in this online workshop, an initiative designed to offer students insights into the realms of design, technology, and engineering. Recognising the need for diverse career options to be showcased to students, particularly those in year five, the school embraced the chance to expose its students to the exciting possibilities within the field of design and engineering.


The virtual session, led by James Dyson Foundation’s Danya Walker, Project Manager, unfolded through an online platform with a live interaction format. Danya's engagement with the students was the key to the workshop's success. The session was meticulously structured to encourage active participation, with students invited to ask questions and join in discussions.

Centered around the design process, the workshop provided students with a glimpse into the iterative nature of product development. Danya shared the challenges and numerous iterations that a product undergoes before reaching its final form, resonating deeply with the students.

Student Engagement

A standout aspect of the workshop was the remarkable level of student engagement, even in the virtual setting. Students exhibited excitement and expressed positivity about the experience. The familiarity of Dyson's products played a significant role in capturing their interest, making the content relatable and captivating.

Nurturing Tomorrow's Innovators

The workshop left a lasting positive impression and emphasised the importance of perseverance in the face of challenges. Dyson's real-world perspective proved invaluable, conveying that making mistakes is integral to innovation and growth.

From Boxmoor Primary School's viewpoint, this experience is viewed as a stepping stone towards forging stronger connections between education and industry. The aspiration is to extend such collaborations to other companies and industries, exposing students to a broader range of career options. Construction, textiles, and various fields are under consideration for future engagements.

The virtual workshops serve as a testament to the potential for meaningful partnerships between industry leaders and schools in shaping the future of education and career exploration.

If you would like more information about how to part in a virtual online session for your primary school please contact amelia.wright@designtechnology.org.uk

Primary School Resources

Dyson offer resources tailored for primary school students to impart the principles of design engineering. Explore the 'Design Process Box', a free resource empowering teachers to seamlessly integrate engineering concepts into classrooms. 'Engineering Solutions: Air Pollution' offers a teacher's pack delving into how engineering addresses global challenges like air pollution. Lastly, the 'Engineering Solutions' resource focuses on the future of farming, allowing students to discover the application of design and engineering principles in agriculture, covering cultivation, harvesting, and environmental impacts.

See resources here. 

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