The 90, seven to 10-year-olds, were participating in the SATRO Mega-Structures Challenge, a competition in which they had to design and build their own model stadium, under the expert guidance of Guildford-based construction company Beard.
The challenge was organised by regional education charity SATRO, which helps young people develop Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills through hands-on project experience working with industry professionals like Beard.
“At a time when the construction and engineering sectors are facing a chronic skills shortage, we need more in-school initiatives like this which engage and inspire youngsters in STEM subjects and provide them with an insight into the wonderful career opportunities the construction, design and engineering sectors offer,” says Simon Webster, Beard Guildford contract manager. “Fun, hands-on events like the SATRO Mega-structures Challenge are a fantastic way of making these subjects really exciting for children and teaching them to problem-solve, think creatively and work collaboratively, as part of a team. I hope that we have inspired a few pupils today.”
The children were split into small groups, with each member assigned a specific project role, and set the task of designing and building a stadium using recycled paper, nuts and bolts to create their structures. Members of Beard’s Guildford construction team, which included construction trainee Kyne Newman-Knott, were on hand to encourage, give expert advice and answer pupils’ questions about the structures they were building and careers in the field.
Mrs Green, head teacher of Brookwood Primary School says: “We love taking opportunities to encourage pupils to consider science, engineering and maths-based careers. The SATRO Mega-structures challenge days are engaging and fun and pose problems which the groups need to solve together. As they all achieved great results today, I’m sure it will have inspired some of them to think positively about STEM careers.”
Educational charity SATRO has worked with young people in Surrey and the South East for over 30 years. The organisation’s passion for promoting STEM subjects has inspired 450,000 young people into related careers.
Anne Edward, SATRO programme manager says: “Beard are a long-term supporter of SATRO’s STEM programme. Their funding gives students an opportunity to develop their skills in both engineering and enterprise skills for business. As part of this programme we provide volunteers from industry to support learning and to open young people’s minds to what is needed to succeed in a future career in STEM. We would like to thank Beard for the support which has provided this workshop for Brookwood students.”
Pictured: Pupils from Brookwood Primary School having fun at the SATRO Mega-Structures Challenge which brings STEM learning to life. They were mentored by Beard construction professionals Gary Bhela (back row left), Simon Webster (back row centre) and Kyle Newman-Knott (back row right).