Toyota helping the next generation go to Space...

The National Space Centre’s Community Team has been awarded £2,000 from Toyota’s Better Tomorrow fund, via Farmer & Carlisle Toyota Leicester, to deliver two after-school coding and robotics clubs.

Children aged 7-11, in the New Parks and Westcotes areas of Leicester, will be invited to join the after-school clubs in their area to learn key STEM skills and concepts through exciting hands-on activities including the chance to design, build and code LEGO rovers. The Centre’s Community team will work with participants to develop and strengthen critical and logical thinking skills, code design as well as collaborative working and communication skills.

These are key skills for careers in space science, engineering and programming.

The after-school clubs will take place across a period of five weeks in early 2022, culminating in a family celebration event for participants at the National Space Centre and an open community event during February half term.

CJ Bishop, Community Manager at the National Space Centre, said: “We’re really excited to be working with Toyota and reach new areas of our city to encourage young people across Leicester to enjoy learning and engaging with STEM hands-on and experience first-hand the skills required to take up a career in STEM.

This fund also allows growth for our Community Programme as we look to double our areas of engagement in Leicester from five to ten.

Jonathan Carlisle, Operations Director at Farmer & Carlisle Toyota Leicester, added: “We've been able to kick off a really exciting collaboration with The Space Centre using Toyota's Better Tomorrow Fund.

The fund focuses on looking after the communities in which we live, employ staff, work and serve our customers. The Space centre similarly works tirelessly to serve the same communities around us. That's why we felt this was a good fit. The Space Centre nurtures and educates young people highlighting the vast amount of work and education opportunities available within the space arena. More importantly, they make education available to all.

We are excited to see the programme come to life and take part in its delivery. More than that we are excited that local children and families will benefit from its learnings."

Neeru Patel, Head of Marketing at Farmer & Carlisle Toyota Leicester, added: “Toyota as a brand spends a lot of time and money on Research & Development (R&D). They want to be at the forefront of technology and innovation. This project helps us to filter that ethos down into the grassroots of Leicestershire. We want to give the younger generations opportunities to learn and develop, to broaden their horizons. They are our future so we need to support them!"

The new after-school clubs will build on the success of the Community Team’s work in partner communities across Leicester over the past two years. Children have been learning STEM skills as part of a wide range of After School Clubs, including astronaut training, building and launching rockets, coding LEGO rovers and looking at Mars rocks.

The team works to encourage new audiences to get excited to learn about space. It also raises the aspirations of young people in Leicester to aspire to be the next generation of scientists and engineers.