High-tech companies enthusiastic about Technique Tangible

News | 25 Feb 2020

'There are fewer and fewer boys with the screwdriver in their back pocket'

Interview with Petra Lambert, regional coordinator at Jetnet & Technet

Making young people enthusiastic about a job in technology is important. Because technology offers solutions for major social problems. Think of the climate, the quality of life in cities and healthcare. In order to have sufficient staff in the future, our high-tech companies participate in Techniek Tactbaar. The best promotion of technology among young people in the Northern Netherlands.

Companies are warming to it. Also that of Innovatiecluster Drachten. Because instead of endless meetings about how to make young people enthusiastic about technology, Jet-Net & Technet offers a practical and effective concept: Techniek Tactbaar. "Pupils bring their parents to the companies and experience something completely different than at school," says Petra Lambert, regional coordinator at Jetnet & Technet. Together with project leader John van Mierlo, she organizes Techniek Tactbaar. And with success. The ICD companies are also enthusiastic. “Together with teachers from primary and secondary schools and businesses in the area, we are organizing a do-day. Here students can try out technical gadgets, but also get acquainted with, for example, welding and turning and milling. In this way, companies show what they do and children become enthusiastic about technology."


That's exactly what most schools can use help with, conveying enthusiasm for technology. That is why the do-day does not stand alone and its follow-up in the classroom is very important. “There are schools that make this day a special assignment for career orientation. As a result, students become even more aware of their choice of school and profession. For example, children interview three companies and make a video. Then it is nice if the mentor says: we will watch and discuss the videos you have made together. Then there is attention for technique in the classroom and the opportunities and possibilities are discussed.” Unfortunately, Lambert has no control over such a lesson. We organize the entire process up to and including the event. Then it is up to the school to follow up. We urge schools to prepare for the day, have enough children, and discuss it in class afterwards. That completes the picture and has the most effect.”


This method sounds fragile, but it works well. “We give schools training courses on how you can look at motives and motives together with students and how you can link this to technology. This gives teachers insight and allows them to better communicate with their students. You used to only talk to guys who carried the screwdriver in the back pocket, so to speak. There are fewer and fewer of these guys, and you don't have to seduce them. It is mainly about the other children, that they also come into contact with technology from an early age. For example, by having them solve technical issues, integrating language and math so that they receive lively and context-rich education. It is a process that has to grow and slowly but surely becomes part of the curriculum.”

21 thousand visitors

The first Technique Tactile was held in Meppel in 2015. Companies and schools in 16 places in the Northern Netherlands are now familiar with the event and more than 21,000 visitors have attended. This number is growing partly due to the enthusiasm of schools and companies. ,,We organize most events in Friesland and this year also a number in Drenthe. The next event is on March 13 in Sneek, including the companies of Innovatiecluster Drachten. The province of Groningen is the next area we want to conquer."


How nice would it be if, in addition to the children and their parents, the mentors also visit the event? “We usually hold Techniek Tactbaar on a Friday between 2 and 9 p.m. It would be fantastic if more teachers visited the event to get an idea of the companies in the region. Moreover, it broadens knowledge about technology, so that you as a mentor are better able to talk to your students or give them good advice for further education. I think this is so important that I would like to call on teachers to make agreements in their team meetings about who will go to Techniek Tactbaar."


From the thanks that Lambert receives, it appears that the companies are eager. ,,Each company receives a cake after the event as a thank you, which resulted in many nice reactions. We see that participating companies are growing in their presentation. The first time, some don't quite know what to show. Stickers, key rings and a company poster are not enough. Then the children can't experience anything, they have to be able to do something! Companies see that and come up with something different next time. They will notice soon enough whether they are in the right place from the enthusiasm of the children!"

Jet-Net & TechNet is the youth and technology network of companies and schools to allow young people to consciously choose a technical further education. It offers primary schools practical support in introducing and integrating science and technology into the curriculum. Research has shown that children form professional images between the ages of 9 and 14 and already exclude some career choices. Moreover, technology makes an important contribution to the talent development of children. That is why it is important to introduce children to science and technology at an early age. Jet-Net & TechNet supports primary schools with free workshops and advice when starting teaching science and technology and working smartly with the business community.

Visit Technique Tangible

View for an impression of the event videos of recent years or visit the events with our high-tech companies on March 13 in Sneek and April 17 in Assen.