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Conferences and courses;What's on;Technology

The National Engineering Conference will take place on March 25 at the Midlands Engineering Centre, Birmingham. Organised by CENTRA (Education and Training Services), it is aimed at teachers of 14 to 19-year-olds as well as other providers and users of engineering education and training. Speakers include representatives from Bradford University, British Aerospace, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Engineering Council. A choice of workshops will focus on recent developments in the vocational curriculum. Fee: pound;125. Details: Ellen Luetchford, tel: 01257 241428.

Estelle Morris, minister with responsibility for schools and the curriculum, is one of the speakers at The Design and Technology Association's annual conference on the theme Future Directions at the Chamberlain Hotel, Birmingham, June 26-27. Sir Dominic Cadbury, chair of the Confederation of British Industry's national manufacturing council and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, is also among the speakers. An exhibition and 50 workshops and seminars will cover primary, secondary, special needs and initial teacher education. Fee: pound;175, pound;155 members; or pound;75, pound;60 day delegates. Details: Gill Turnbull, DATA, 16 Wellesbourne House, Walton Road, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire CV35 9JB, tel: 01789 470007.

In conjunction with DATA's annual conference, Wolverhampton University's centre for design and technology is running a Technology Enhancement Programme summer school, June 24-25, comprising in-depth workshops with an emphasis on the curriculum focus for TEP resources. Areas of study are manufacturing, cost-effective computer-aided design and manufacture for secondary schools, control technology and product design. Fee: pound;175 residential, pound;110 non-residential. Details: Gill Turnbull, tel: 01789 470007.

The Smallpeice Trust, which promotes engineering as a career to young people, together with Coventry Technical College, is offering a two-year residential traineeship in engineering and design for 16-year-olds from September 1998. The course will lead to a BTEC national diploma in engineering and will allow access to higher education or to employment with technician status. It will also include A-level mathematics, management techniques, foreign language skills, work experience and hands-on projects. Tuition costs will be met by the Further Education Funding Council. Closing date for applications is March 13. Details: Angela Lilley, Smallpeice Trust, 27 Newbold Terrace East, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 4ES, tel: 01926 331606; e-mail:

Teachers are invited to discuss curriculum development andor their research at the International Conference on Design and Technology Educational Research and Curriculum Development, August 24-26, at Loughborough University. Conference directors Eddie Norman and John Smith are also calling for outline proposals by February 25 for papers and posters on the same theme from pre-school level to higher education. Topics may include gender, the environment, industryeducation links, initial teacher education and foodtextiles. Details: Mrs E Havard-Williams, IDATER administrator, department of design and technology, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, tel: 01509 222644 (24 hours); e-mail:

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