Tech festival in Stirling aims to ‘futureproof’ young people in the changing world of work

A festival which celebrates the world of technology and digital is on a mission to futureproof young people against a rapidly changing world of work. 

MetaFest, which is conceived and produced by CodeBase Stirling, aims to engage and inspire young people across the country to think about how technology is changing the world and to consider their place in a fast changing future. 

The major festival of innovation, which features everything from virtual reality installations to cutting-edge video games, is being held in Stirling on Saturday, March 28. The festival will also introduce visitors to potential careers in the tech sector through a series of interactive workshops, exhibits and drop-in sessions. 

As well as MetaFest fringe events hosted by partner organisations across the city, including Made in Stirling, CodeBase Stirling will be the main festival hub, with the building split into different activity zones, including Games Zone, Animation Zone, Virtual Reality Zone and Discovery Zone, which showcases the digital learning in the region’s schools. 

Festival visitors will be able to get hands-on experience of creating 3D animation, explore virtual worlds and even making musical instruments from fruit and vegetables. They will also get the opportunity to play retro arcade machines, prototype with 3D printers, design and code their own video game, build their own computers, and programme a robot to play football. Younger children will have the chance to explore a cutting edge multisensory zone.The festival will also boast an Animation Cinema, showcasing the best in Scottish animation. 

The Level:Up Zone will run taster workshops from CodeBase Stirling’s existing programme of digital skills workshops for young people, including Bring Your Own Grown Up, a session designed for parents and carers to learn the basics of computer coding alongside their children. 

Barry McDonald, Community and Programme Manager at CodeBase Stirling, said: “MetaFest will be an exciting day for the whole family, regardless of your knowledge of technology. The programme and workshops are inclusive, intergenerational and are focused to inspire and empower the next generation of tech and digital leaders. 

“Whether you have a passing interest in technology or want advice on future career pathways, this will be a fun and inspiring event.” 

Janine Matheson, Head of CodeBase Stirling, added: “We’re delighted to see the tech scene growing in Stirling and it’s amazing that so many of our startup tenants are involved in MetaFest this year, supporting and designing exciting workshops and showcasing some of the latest tools they work with. 

“We have already seen the first examples of young people learning to code, working within the tech startups, and even starting their own tech business in Stirling. There is a deep commitment from us and our community to help create new opportunities for young people and diversify our future workforce.”

MetaFest has attracted support from a variety of supporters, including Stirling Council, CityFibre, and CodeBase Stirling tenants CitNOW, Ping Creates and Thinkshare.

Cllr Margaret Brisley, Convener of Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Committee, said: “Supporting events to flourish in Stirling is essential to growing a vibrant economy. 

“Metafest will further showcase the breadth of digital innovation and creativity that Stirling has to offer, hopefully inspiring our young people and others to pursue careers in this exciting and growing sector” 

Entry and workshops are free but bookable at www.thisismetafest.com