back to article 1,700 lucky Brit kids to visit Apple Stores for 'Year of Engineering'

While it may be having some difficulty shifting its latest iPhones, Apple has found time to fling open its stores and inflict hordes of excited schoolchildren on the "Geniuses" therein. In what a cynic might regard as a thinly disguised plug for the fruity phone-maker's wares, the UK government announced that kind old Apple …

  1. ma1010 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Huh?

    "give young people the unique chance to meet and work with the creatives behind its ground-breaking innovations".

    So that would be the folks who work in their retail stores? Not to disparage retail workers in any way, but if they are the "creatives behind its ground-breaking innovations," what do all those engineers at Apple headquarters in Cupertino do, then?

    1. EarthDog

      Re: Huh?

      Go to meetings, fill out reports, review documents, drink coffee, eat donuts (all organic gluten free), more meetings, actually do some work (maybe once or twice a week), more meetings, etc. In other words:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBfTrjPSShs

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      I think we're all confused by that. The geniuses in the store are sales droids. Technology is a product they don't have to understand. Now if they took them to the engineering department, that would be a whole different matter.

      1. djstardust Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        Teaching them how to sell an ipad pro adapter that cost $0.02 for over £60

        That's modern day engineering for ya!

      2. Mr Dogshit

        Re: Huh?

        "the engineering department" - aka Foxconn.

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Huh?

      They think the woman who changed the battery on my iPhone at the weekend is an Engineer.

      Nothing wrong with repairing phones for a living, but it isn't Engineering.

      1. Mattjimf

        Re: Huh?

        You mean swapped your phone for a re-conditioned one with a new battery, unless they opened it right in front of you and actually did what you're accusing them of doing.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Huh?

          > So that would be the folks who work in their retail stores?

          No. If you had taken the time to read the source material *before* commenting you'd know it's just using the retail stores as a venue for projects involving coding and CAD.

          Desirable skills to be sure, but maybe not as universally useful as reading up on topics.

          Try doing so and see for yourself.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Huh?

            "No. If you had taken the time to read the source material *before* commenting you'd know it's just using the retail stores as a venue for projects involving coding and CAD.

            Desirable skills to be sure, but maybe not as universally useful as reading up on topics.

            Try doing so and see for yourself."

            So it's a bunch of children sitting in a room, learning stuff from an adult standing at the front with a big board. Another brilliant Apple innovation there. Whatever will we call this new concept?

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Huh?

              > So it's a bunch of children sitting in a room, learning stuff from an adult standing at the front with a big board.

              No. Again, from the *source material*:

              " During the Field Trips, students will create their own digital projects and explore how they can think like an engineer, covering everything from coding and robotics to transport and the solar system."

              Read.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Huh?

                "" During the Field Trips, students will create their own digital projects and explore how they can think like an engineer, covering everything from coding and robotics to transport and the solar system.""

                in 90mins, nope, there is nothing useful they will do, other than learn that over priced Apple shit is always the solution!. buy now, get teacher to buy, tell your parents to buy

              2. DavCrav Silver badge

                Re: Huh?

                "" During the Field Trips, students will create their own digital projects and explore how they can think like an engineer, covering everything from coding and robotics to transport and the solar system."

                Read."

                I was being sarcastic because this initiative deserves it. It also deserves scorn, which I will now deliver.

                Anything that can be taught in an Apple Store can be taught in an actual school. If Apple were even halfway serious about it, they could get one real-life engineer to go to the schools and talk to the children, and do all the creative stuff there. The children will be at school anyway for the rest of the day. Instead, we move all of the children, and whoever is teaching the course, to a different location that is ill-equipped for this sort of teaching, and do it there. This could be used as an example to teach the children about inefficiencies in the transport network, of course.

                When universities do outreach (the real kind based on altruism, not the kind based on PR and trying to get kids to love your brand) we send people to the school. Sometimes we bring children to the university so they can see what it's like. Going to Apple laboratories might be interesting, going to a shop certainly is not.

                You exalted me to 'Read'. I humbly suggest you 'Think'. Not necessarily Different, just At All.

                1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                  Re: Huh?

                  > You exalted me to 'Read'. I humbly suggest you 'Think'. Not necessarily Different, just At All.

                  Where's the evidence that I didn't think? You've made some points with some merit after you were promoted to, so I don't understand why you started by attacking the straw man the Reg had so conveniently provided for you - which you must admit suggested you hadn't read any further. Scepticism is asking the questions, cynicism is merely assuming you already know the answers.

                  Throughout my educational career there have been collaborations, promotions and discounts from commercial outfits looking for a share of hearts, minds and wallets - that's par for the course. Deciding whether or not the end result is a good or a bad thing requires more than a quick look.

                  As for location, anywhere with tables, chairs, computers and a roof that doesn't leak would be suitable. There's also a strong body of evidence that suggests a change of scene is beneficial to learning, so why not? I'm assuming you remember days out from your school days?

                  1. DavCrav Silver badge

                    Re: Huh?

                    "I'm assuming you remember days out from your school days?"

                    Yeah. I doubt I'd have been impressed if it was a day out to a training venue.

              3. martinusher Silver badge

                Re: Huh?

                > During the Field Trips, students will create their own digital projects and explore how they can think like an engineer

                >Read

                I think we all read the blurb but tend to tune out most of it because Engineers -- and I am one ("Bow Ye Before Me, O Mortals") -- tend to tune out marketing BS. Quite frankly if they wanted to "think like an engineer" (presumably not a train driver, BTW) you'd be better off encouraging them to fix their push bike or (for the more motivated ones) figuring out how to attach a motor to it. Or something like that.

                But I rather suspect that people aren't really interested in being engineers so much as they want to possess what they think are engineers' salaries. As we all know, the best way to do this -- the one that doesn't involve tedious work or even getting ones' hands dirty -- is to use some nice, clean, shiny, computer to run spreadsheets and stuff so you can tell mere engineers what to do.

            2. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: Huh?

              So it's a bunch of children sitting in a room, learning stuff from an adult standing at the front with a big board. Another brilliant Apple innovation there. Whatever will we call this new concept?

              If the 'big board' is a wall-sized iPad, they could call it the iPad Maxi, but that kind of sounds like a sanitary towel to my ears.

              Retail stores as the venue - and at some point the store staff running the tutorial with limited preparation training for efficiency.

              1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

                Re: Huh?

                There was a good and hard wearing joke about "genius bars" in the Big Bang Theory once (I must say I gave up on it some time ago)

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Huh?

                "the iPad Maxi, but that kind of sounds like a sanitary towel to my ears."

                In at least one jurisdiction iPad IS a sanitary towel. Apple could not get the trademark there.

            3. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: Huh?

              Whatever will we call this new concept?

              The iSchool of course. make my checque payable to Mr. M. Habel Thank you.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Huh?

            "Desirable skills to be sure, but maybe not as universally useful as reading up on topics."

            yeah, if you read it correctly it becomes obvious, it actually means its a selling opportunity to get teachers to buy more over priced apple shit for the class rooms..

            and get the kids to get their parents to buy more over priced apple shit.

    4. SVV Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      The real engineers crease up with laughter at this sort of bullshit, because they're smart enough to see through it. However, thinly disguised plugs for the fruity phone maker's wares are what some of them have to waste their talents on designing - the ones that go into ports and power sockets that is.

    5. BongoJoe

      Re: Huh?

      Shirely, the Creatives are the things that are made by the Creators?

      Or have I got entangled up in all this bollocks-speak again?

    6. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      Bringing all of those children into the Temple *is* engineering, unfortunately it is just social engineering. And they aren't the ones doing the engineering...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        "unfortunately it is just social engineering. And they aren't the ones doing the engineering..."

        It does make me wonder if all those schools who have not done much, if any, STEM outreach visits who get chosen will all be schools that use Chromebooks.

        Cynical? Moi? Mais non! :-)

    7. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      creatives, as in barista.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

    "Do you want fries^H^H^H^H^Hcables with that?"

    1. RobThBay

      Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

      Do you wanna super-size that cable??

      How about an extended warranty on that phone case?

      Don't forget the gold plated usb cable, it'll transfer files *way* faster than an ordinary cable.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

        You want the low-oxygen 99.9% pure copper cable for the best fidelity when transferring mp3 files to the phone.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

          You want the low-oxygen 99.9% pure copper cable for the best fidelity when transferring mp3 files to the phone.

          Sounds like you've been Naimed by some HiFi geeks

        2. Semtex451 Silver badge

          Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

          I think you mean .aac files

      2. SteveK

        Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

        "Don't forget the gold plated usb cable, it'll transfer files *way* faster than an ordinary cable."

        I notice Currys still sell a £50 goldplated optical audio cable.

        And even talk up how the "durable gold plated connectors ensure the best possible connection".

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

          >I notice Currys still sell a £50 goldplated optical audio cable.

          "Directional ethernet cables" are still a thing in some Audiophile circles...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

            As we've been saying since at least the 1960s, "an Audiophule and their money are soon parted".

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

          "And even talk up how the "durable gold plated connectors ensure the best possible connection"."

          The gold plating stops dark energy from getting in and absorbing the light!!

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Don't know what a genius is going to inspire kids to do

    Take the computer round the back, wait five minutes, come back out, and say it'll be £800 for the fix whatever the problem?

    I think Louis Rossmann's channel would inspire them more.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Don't know what a genius is going to inspire kids to do

      It will inspire them to become marketing and sales doirds and eventually CEO's.

  4. HolySchmoley

    Not an Apple strong point

    "think different"

    "the creatives"

    Speak English.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Not an Apple strong point

      English, of course, meaning different things to different sides of the Atlantic.

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Not an Apple strong point

        English, of course, also being wonderfully adaptable to still make sense to anybody reading it even when distorted far from The Queen's English.

        cus 't wudn,t b ye populistic vocabulation uf teh woild uderwise.

  5. Waseem Alkurdi

    Am I the only one who's going for a vision check after reading this piece?

  6. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Cynicism aside....

    ...it can't be a bad thing. If it kicks off an interest in tech in a few kids and (more importantly in my experience) a few teachers and gives the latter some resources to encourage and support STEM then I think it should be welcomed - or at least given the benefit of the doubt. Worst case - the kids get a day off school, and in my day that would have been enough motive alone to welcome our fruit-based overlords.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Cynicism aside....

      Looks like an opportunity for Apple to shift around 1700 iWatches by giving them away to the aspiring engineers

  7. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    A student at age 5? That's some hell of an education fast track.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Student - one who studies. Undergraduate student - one studying towards a degree. Pupil - one who is taught by another. Whilst it's true that in common usage a pupil is taken to be a child or adolescent and a student is taken to be at a university, that's not what those words mean and the context should be looked at.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        In the context, a pupil is at school, a student is at college or university. Kids at school are ***NOT*** students, they're bloody kids.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      A student at age 5? That's some hell of an education fast track.

      Doogie Howser, M.D.

  8. jake Silver badge

    At least it keeps the kids off ...

    ... heroin.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: At least it keeps the kids off ...

      To bad it doesn't take them off Lithium (Ion) though...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think like an Apple Engineer...

    Learn to apply lashings of glue liberally, integrate everything, so no other non-Apple Engineer will ever be able to repair it.

    This is the equivalent of the McDonalds Happy meal, catch'em young.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Think like an Apple Engineer...

      Engineers design phones. It's technicians who repair them. Set a good example for the young ones, there's a good chap.

  10. trevorde

    Real world software engineering

    - endless, soul crushing meetings

    - coffee

    - pointless documents to review

    - micromanagers

    - clueless CTOs

    - buzzword bingo

    - using outdated technology

    - maintaining someone else's cr4p code

    - very occasionally writing code

    - impossible demands from marketing/sales

    - last minute requirements from marketing/sales

    - conflicting requests from marketing/sales

    - constantly changing priorities

    - 'performance' reviews

    - annual Resource Actions (IBM only)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Real world software engineering

      There are other companies other than Sage Accounting to work for.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Real world software engineering

        They are all the same though.

    2. Adelio

      Re: Real world software engineering

      do not forget

      Using (or trying to use) the lastest (*rap) technology

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Minister for the Year of Engineering, Nusrat Ghani, demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of what an Apple Store actually is....(snip)

    In the meantime the rest of us are still trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is. It was seemingly launched with the plan being "let's see what our commercial sponsors come up with" and hasn't obviously progressed much past that.

    A noble concept, let down by direction.

    At least their website (https://www.yearofengineering.gov.uk/) mostly works now.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      A good start would be to reclaim and protect the word Engineer for its real meaning, just as the title Doctor denotes a certain level of either academic achievement or medical training.

      The person who fixes the photocopier is a technician and not an engineer, no more than the (invaluable and useful) person who takes X-rays is a doctor.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        A good start would be to reclaim and protect the word Engineer for its real meaning, just as the title Doctor denotes a certain level of either academic achievement or medical training.

        The person who fixes the photocopier is a technician and not an engineer, no more than the (invaluable and useful) person who takes X-rays is a doctor.

        A fine concept let down by semantics. Could you define when someone stops being a technician and becomes an engineer?

        Very similar to the discussion regarding what is a scientist and what is an engineer? There is a very large grey area in the middle therefore how and where is the division made?

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          An engineer examines problems and works out (engineers) solutions.

          A technician applies pre-designed technical solutions to situations.

          A fitter takes stuff out of a box and places it in its intended location.

          An electrical engineer will measure an installation, calculate requirements, use those calculations to work out appropriate installation designs. (This is a second floor flat, the supply is 60m away, the voltage drop will be... the cable will need to be....)

          An electrical technician will take pre-designed standard design solutions and apply them. (Two storey house, 2.5mm T+E ring main, 1.5mm lighting spurs)

          An electrial fitter will take an item out of a box, follow pre-designed instructions, and attach it. (Remove old light switch, wire up new light switch)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hear hear. I dispair that my payslip says "IT Engineer" when in actual fact I am a delivery boy. And a supreme waste of my actual skills.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      "In the meantime the rest of us are still trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is."

      I'll tell you what it isn't: headed up by, you know, someone with the slightest technical or engineering background. The Minister for the year Of Engineering, Nusrat Ghani, studied Politics at the highly regarded University of Central England, worked at some charities, and then became an MP.

      So no chance of her being of any use at all in this particular endeavour.

    3. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
      Flame

      "...trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is"

      Still disappointed the year of the pig wasn't 365 days of bacon fuelled bliss.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: "...trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is"

        Still disappointed the year of the pig wasn't 365 days of bacon fuelled bliss.

        I find that remark to be grossly ofencive to our Islamic bretheren.

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
          Facepalm

          @Michael Habel

          Don't blame me for the downvotes - I can see the Joke Alert icon.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: "...trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is"

          I find you finding offense on the behalf of others to be grossly offensive.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: "...trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is"

        I don't think you are doing it right ... Shirley every year can be 365 days of bacon fueled bliss?

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: "...trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is"

          Nearly... roughly 3/4 of them are 365 days of bacon fuelled bliss. The others are 366 days of bacon fuelled bliss! More bacon!

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: "...trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is"

            The other quarter also have 365 days, you know. The extra day is just gravy.

        2. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: "I don't think you are doing it right ... "

          That's a given.

          But I was hoping it was official ...

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: "...trying to work out what the Year of Engineering actually is"

          Shirley every year can be 365 days of bacon fueled bliss?

          Yes, until you have a heart attack.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      "Struggle to help your kids with their homework? Don't panic - check out these top tips from comedian Lucy Porter."

  12. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @ Mr. Speed

    "to explain to students what Apple actually considers "innovation" these days"

    Priceless.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1,700 lucky unlucky Brit kids to visit Apple Stores for 'Year of Engineering' further religious indoctrination education.

    Headline fixed.

    Pews at the Church of Apple must be getting empty.

  14. MJI Silver badge
    Pint

    I'd rather visit

    <===== no idea how it got its head

    Westons or Healeys.

    Oh I have, both, and bought stuff in their shops.

    Still got the Westons sharpie pens, (I drunk everything else).

    Pity laws stop some marketing on some stuff as a boy wanted a Healeys main brand cider pump. I wanted a sticker of the logo.

    BTW same family as the car Healey.

    Sorry but if you bring up the subject of apples I will bring up the subject of fermented apples.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: I'd rather visit

      "I'd rather visit

      <===== no idea how it got its head"

      Given the direction you're pointing, it looks like you already have.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: I'd rather visit

        They moved it. Was on left for years

  15. Stuart Castle

    Could be good.

    Depends how they organise it. I work in education, and have, from time to time, been to a few professional training sessions at the Apple Store in Regent street. Whatever the session was intended to show, they generally cover the subject matter well, and don't use it as an excuse to sell Apple products. Hell, I came away from one (on deploying macOS to a lab full of Macs) with a recommendation to use a freeware image distribution system for the OS rather than Apple's own Netboot/Netrestore system.

    They did have a room next to the conference room where the trainees could play with a whole load of Apple products, and I daresay they got a few sales through that.

    Compare and contrast that with a similar training session on educational management of Apple devices I went to that was given by BT, where it was just a bunch of people telling us we should be buying our Apple products from BT (through what was dabs), and using BT provided management systems. The most interesting thing about that particular day was having lunch in the Revolving Restaurant at the top of the BT tower. Sadly it wasn't revolving that day though. Amazing views, and quite a nice buffet lunch.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chinny reckon

    When they say there's a skills shortage they mean there's not enough supply to pay software engineers £9/h.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think like an Engineer

    There's a song in there somewhere.

    When an engineer thinks

    So hard that it stinks

    That's ...

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: Think like an Engineer

      4 Down clue 'type of eel'?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Think like an Engineer

        D'amn close...

  19. N2 Silver badge

    Engineering?

    I prefer to call them 'spare part fitters'.

    If the first one doesn't work, they fit another...

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Engineering?

      Again, that's technicians you're talking about. Real engineers don't do spare parts fitting. (Unless possibly it involves complicated one offs that require in field tweaking and redesign)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Engineering?

        Oi! We do sometimes. Because it's often quicker to do it oneself rather than trusting it to a technician who often has no clue because too many are just "consumers". A broad underlying knowledge of technology and engineering is important but is frequently missing.

  20. johnnyblaze

    Well, whatever. That will be 1800 new, brainwashed believers, and 1800 new iPhones sold at the very least.

  21. Jimmy2Cows
    Gimp

    Only 1700 kids...?

    100 field trips with an average class UK class size (~30) is 3000 kids.

    Will there be some sort of lottery to pick the unlucky ones, and how do I guarantee my son can opt out?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only 1700 kids...?

      By texting STOP to 7726.

  22. Big-G

    Teaching ?

    Just like "food education" involves a visit to Tesco, another class gets "taught" how to become consumers. Now they've really lost the plot

  23. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Lucky??

    Being brainwashed by a brand so young, I don't call that being lucky.

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