Bridges, flooding and nuclear energy were brought together during a virtual engineering experience at a Surrey high school.
The STEM Challenge event was aimed at pupils in Year 11, and included presentations by both students and engineers to ensure the young people gained a greater understanding of the construction sector.
In advance of the event, the Nonsuch High School for Girls students had been set a challenge to design a community hub, with their presentations judged by the three guest engineers. The designs included a requirement to be accessible to a range of groups; safe, energy efficient and cost effective; bright and attractive; and promoted to the local community.
Caroline Chisholm, Education Manager at the Rochester Bridge Trust, was one of the judges. She said: “The students have clearly adapted well to working together in a classroom alongside remote visitors and I was very impressed by how well they presented their engineering solutions.
“There was a great range of concepts and they had clearly thought carefully about fulfilling the brief. It was particularly interesting to see some of the social responsibility aspects of their ideas – for example ensuring the building offered facilities for all, including encouraging the local community to be involved with the construction.
“It was a great experience and a brilliant opportunity to bring remote engineers into the school – I was very pleased to be a part of this.”
After the judging, the three engineers gave a brief introduction to their own organisations and work, helping the teenagers to gain a better understanding of the variety of career options available.
Teacher Julian Coy said: “Thank you so much for being part of our session and taking the time out of your schedules to so do. It was a privilege to hear about your experiences and for the students to listen to your advice.”
The Rochester Bridge Trust offers its own Virtual Engineering Experiences to schools and community groups. Visit this web page to find out more.