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Work Experience at Rocketmakers: Giving the Next Generation a Valuable Insight into the Working World of Tech

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By Chloe Marshall
1st Aug 2022
3 min read

Rocketmakers has a long history of providing work experience to local children and teenagers, with the aim of educating and engaging students on the roles and careers available in the tech industry.

Introduced by the Workforce for the Future programme earlier in 2022, Rocketmakers began working with a local school, St Mark’s in Bath.  We first visited the school in March where we delivered a talk to all Year 7 students about the roles available in a tech agency such as Rocketmakers and what it is like working here within those roles.  Then, in July we welcomed six Year 9 students, as well as the younger brother of one of our Visual Designers to undertake work experience in the Rocketmakers office.  Students attended for three days for a Product Design work experience programme.

Project Manager, Sara King, organised and oversaw the entire programme, supported by various crew members, who all ensured that the students were engaged and interested throughout.  The aim of the programme was to help students understand the day to day requirements of different roles within software development agencies like Rocketmakers.  Students were offered an insight into being a Designer, a Business Development Associate and a Software Engineer.

As well as hands-on learning, the work experience was designed to challenge some of the pre-conceptions that often exist in the tech industry.  For instance, that you need very strong mathematical skills, that you often work in silos with little teamwork required and that it is a very male industry. 

Students were given a brief from a make believe client called “Hungree” to design the search pages for a healthy food delivery app.  The day began with reviewing user research results, categorising them into feature requests and app requirements, followed by a discussion on what user experience is and why it is important.  They then created a paper prototype, mocking out their design ideas and user experience plans for the pages.  In the afternoon there was a talk on Accessibility and how to design an app that is accessible to all and the fundamentals that you need to consider.

On day two, training was given on Figma, a popular design tool that we use at Rocketmakers, where the students learned to build digital frames and link them together to create clickable wireframes.  There were also sessions on creating a clickable prototype and branding and UI design.  The students also had time to work on their own prototypes with crew members on hand to answer questions.

Finally, the students learnt about system architecture, user interface design, creating their own logos and brand guidelines to add to their designs.  On the afternoon of the final day the students presented their projects to Rocketmakers crew who were very impressed with the quality of the work produced.

At the end of the work experience the students were presented with a 3D model of the Rocketmakers rocket, printed by Matt H in his 3D printing machine, as a memento of their time at Rocketmakers.

We are looking forward to welcoming the next group of students from St Mark's school soon!