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Rethinking D&T

Real-world problems need practical minds

The UK is struggling with an annual shortfall of 59,000 engineers. So we need more young people to choose a future in engineering. We believe the solution is to engage young people at an early age with exciting, industry relevant Design and Technology lessons.

Student building an electronics prototype.

"Design and Technology should be as riveting and relevant as the career it channels into. Logical, creative and practical, it’s the only opportunity that school students have to apply what they learn in maths and science – directly preparing them for a future in engineering."

James Dyson


Two students building a wooden prototype in Design and Technology.

Proposed solution

Enabling project-based learning

We believe in a Design and Technology curriculum based on an iterative design process and project-based learning. Students then understand the relevance of the subject, which can lead to increased numbers opting to study Design and Technology at GCSE level and, hopefully, choosing a career in engineering.

CAD software on a laptop linked to a 3D printer in a Design and Technology lab in school.

Testing the theory

A problem-led curriculum

In 2012 we donated £75,000 to five secondary schools in Bath, UK, to allow them to buy cutting-edge equipment and develop their D&T labs. We worked with teachers to build a problem-led curriculum, one that encourages students to work in teams on a design brief, to prototype, iteratively test and redesign their inventions.

A teacher a two students discussing a design and technology problem-solving project.

The James Dyson Foundation Schools report

Measuring our impact

Read our full project report for more details on our hypothesis, methodology, results and recommendations.

A Design and Technology student soldering his electronic prototype.

D&T support

Make it happen in your school

Based on our work with the Bath schools, we have developed a series of free lesson plans and advice for all schools looking to teach a project-led D&T curriculum.

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