BAE Systems, the UK’s sovereign combat air provider, has announced its funding of an eco-lab at the Blackburn Youth Zone (B&DYZ) to educate young people about climate change solutions. The eco-lab, introduced as part of the Maker Zone at B&DYZ, aims to raise awareness and inspire young individuals to play an active role in creating a greener planet.
Many young people within the Youth Zone community express concern about climate change but feel uninformed and powerless to make a significant impact. The eco-lab will provide them with the necessary knowledge and tools to contribute to a sustainable future. It will form part of the Maker Zone, a space within the Youth Zone that promotes STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and offers a range of engaging activities to boost confidence and aspirations.
The activities within the Maker Zone are diverse and cater to a wide range of interests. They include designing and manufacturing physical products using sustainable techniques such as 3D printing. Young individuals will also have the opportunity to develop coding, programming, and artificial intelligence skills, which are increasingly valuable in today’s technological world.
BAE Systems has a long-standing relationship with B&DYZ, spanning over a decade, and its latest investment will support the youth zone for the next four years. As a leader in technology and advanced aerospace manufacturing, BAE Systems is committed to advancing national STEM skills and supporting local economies.
Hannah Allen, CEO of B&DYZ, expressed gratitude for BAE Systems’ continuous support. Over the years, B&DYZ has responded to the requests of young people to enhance their digital skills in preparation for future careers. The establishment of the eco-lab became possible through the collaboration with BAE Systems, aligning with the government’s sustainability and climate change policies.
The eco-lab project aims to equip young individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a green economy. It acknowledges the importance of educating learners about climate change and providing them with hope that they can be agents of change. By engaging in hands-on activities, young people will gain the necessary expertise to contribute to a greener future.
Head of Sustainability at BAE Systems Air, Hannah Swindell, emphasized the company’s dedication to addressing climate change. Supporting the eco-lab allows BAE Systems to champion young people in developing the skills necessary to tackle climate change issues, find solutions, and make a positive impact in their future lives and careers.
The donation from BAE Systems will fund specialist equipment and training for B&DYZ team members to take over 1,000 young visitors expected to attend the Maker Zone over the next four years. Through an innovative skills-building program, young individuals will be encouraged to think creatively and find novel solutions to climate change problems using their digital skills.
The investment in Blackburn with Darwen extends beyond B&DYZ. An £8m investment has been announced to transform the area, including the expansion of youth zone centers. Blackburn Youth Zone is set to receive £2.9m, enabling the establishment of a new employment and skills hub in the unused neighboring Fuse Box building.
This initiative by BAE Systems showcases their commitment to sustainability, education, and empowering young individuals to take an active role in combating climate change. The eco-lab at B&DYZ will undoubtedly provide invaluable insights and opportunities for young people, preparing them for a greener future and enabling them to make a positive impact on the world around them.