Inspiring the Future: Reflections on Imagin8 – 2024

A day of keynotes, topics covering artificial intelligence, robotics, AR/VR, Healthcare, Role Models and More!  The scene was set for Imagin8 – 2024.  An offering from IT Services for Education company – Eduthing – who offer all schools that they support added value!

Why Imagin8?

A combination of the words Imagine and Eight, Imagin8, is aimed at girls aged 13 in year 8.  To inspire them about the world of tech, before making choices for GCSE subjects. Hence the tag line – Inspire, Discover, Empower!

Setting the scene

The event was held at Tiffin Girls Schools, Kingston Upon Thames, it was opened by male ally – Liam Buggs CIO from eduthing, followed by me (Beverly Clarke MBE) setting the scene, for the day to a roomful of 180 year 8 girls and their teachers. This opener included an interactive session highlighting the contributions of women past and present in the STEM and Tech field.  Along with linking the day and activities to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Image showing inspirational women in STEM, created by Beverly Clarke

Keynote – Fashion, Tech and a Real World Problem

A keynote from Rebecca Schmidt CO-CEO of Give Your Best UK then followed.  Rebecca detailed how a real world problem was solved by Give Your Best UK, which started on Instagram during the pandemic and is still going.  Supporting refugee women and children with clothing.  Her opening line stayed with me, and I encourage you to reflect on this – How many of us are able to choose what we wear every day?”

Talks and Activities to Inspire

Following with the theme of the day, Inspire, Discover and Empower, the girls enjoyed workshops as follows:

  • Dr Raj Iyer – cofounder and CEO of sAInaptic, an AI company that automates the marking, measurement and personalisation of assessments, beyond multiple choice questions across the education sector.  Dr Raj led a session on bio-engineering and tech in healthcare along with insights from her tech journey, from her ambitions to be a medical doctor, her background in data science through to transitioning into a new space and leading an AI company. Insightful as no career path is straightforward and squiggly career paths should be embraced. Find out more about tools for teachers from sAInaptic here


  • Tech She Can – a national charity were also in attendance, with robotics workshops and also showing the world of AR through virtual try ons, such as You Cam Nails and Wanna Kicks. The result, another group of highly engaged pupils.  To find out more about the work of Tech She Can to #ChangetheRatio through works such as live lessons, live assemblies and their manifesto, head to their website.


  • Simply Health – a company dedicated to providing health plans for affordable healthcare access.  The speakers shared how they used tech in their roles such as in content management systems, design tools, analytics software and opportunities that arise in organisations and how to capitalise on these. 


  • Itp101 – popping into this workshop, I was able to see pupils interacting with the human heart, using a stylus to bring it out of the screen into their hands and also to feel the pulse.  Also looking at the world of architecture and 3D in the building industry.  All possible through AR.  ITP101, offer many interactive experiences such as Agriculture and Food, Health Sciences, Skilled Trades and Transportation.  Find out more here


Personal Reflection

One thing I really enjoyed during the day, was reflecting upon my own teenage years, when I would head to Boots or Superdrug, with my best friend to try on makeup at the weekend.  Young people no longer do this in the same way.

It was relatively recent that one of my daughters introduced me to virtual try on and I became a convert.  What I am showing here, is that decades ago, virtual try on was not a thing, now it is.  Another example, of tech being used for another purpose, this time through AR.  I do find myself wondering with excitement, what was sparked in the minds of the young ladies who attended the event.

Technology Books for Children

But there is more to tech!  As the founder of Technology Books for Children, a charity on a mission to foster Reading for Pleasure on tech topics, I spoke with the librarian and headteacher around the work they are doing with tech books.  It was pleasing to see a selection of books and magazines which the girls can borrow to enjoy tech for pleasure.

Image of Technology Books for Children homepage

Head to Technology Books for Children today to learn more about how you can get involved in a variety of ways:

  • Championing Tech Books for Children
  • Requesting a STEM Ambassador visit
  • Sharing your personal journey with tech books
  • Volunteering in a wide variety of capacities for the charity – grant writing, web development, HR, legal, finance, social media and more.


Soft Skills

As mentioned, we did not only focus on technical skills, through the day we mentioned soft skills.  These were summarised by Dr Raj from sAInaptic as follows:

  • time management
  • networking
  • stress management
  • communication
  • leadership skills


It is important that learners understand that these are essential skills for working in any industry!

Climate Impact

The pupils were on the ball and also asked what about the links between tech and climate change.  This led to rich discussion.  See my article here on talking to children about climate change.


The day drew to a close, where I led a reflection session along with Naomi Gale – Edtech specialist at Eduthing, the pupils, were able to reflect on what they had learn and how tech could be utilised in any of their chosen future careers.


I particularly like the feedback on this slide that says “using ChatGPT in my GCSE”.  It does make me wonder if there will be a new model of education coming.  Young people are thinking in a very different way!  My thoughts, lean in and listen.  Also read the latest DfE guidance on use of AI in schools.

Judging success

Judging from the feedback the goal was achieved.  Inspire, Discover and Empower.  I look forward to seeing how these young people utilise tech in their futures and am very glad to be playing my part as a role model.

Memorable feedback

But wait, earlier in this post, I said “I wonder what was sparked in the minds of the young ladies”.  Well feedback in my opinion does not come better than this – as myself and Rebecca Schmidt sat at the train station, a student came up to us, to thank us for the day, to congratulate me on my recently awarded MBE and also to let us know about her plans for a career in law, we had a conversation about how AI could and is being utilised in the field of law, with lots of encouragement to explore further, as I am not a lawyer, but the door to innovation was opened that bit further!

Examples of jobs young people may go into

Work with me

Have you enjoyed this reflection?  Would you like to work with me to deliver impactful days to learners?  I work in a variety of capacities, consulting, spokesperson, author and am always open to new opportunities –  reach out today.