On the 27th February the A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) invited 25 Year 6 students from Fen Ditton Community Primary School to join them at their main project office at Swavesey. Students were encouraged to learn more about the variety of roles available in the construction industry and how these all had a place in the UK’s largest highways project which is under construction in their community.
Many of the students had seen the A14 improvement scheme works on the road between Cambridge and Huntingdon but had not thought about the jobs that were involved behind the scenes. Over the course of the day, students were introduced to a variety of different jobs and took part in several hands-on activities to learn more. They met members of the environmental, materials testing, procurement, design, surveying and BIM teams, as well as being shown some of the heavy plant machinery that was used on site.
Emma Norman, Class Teacher at Fen Ditton Community Primary School, said
It has been a highly valuable experience because it has provided an opportunity for the students to engage with a diverse range of professionals and think more widely about some of the jobs available in a project like the A14. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and well organised day.
The team of ambassadors, many in the early stages of their careers, described their roles, their day to day tasks and showed the students some of the equipment they use. They then explained how their team’s part in the A14 scheme and how each activity had a link to the wider project. By opening the students’ eyes to the variety of options available to them in the industry and by introducing them to inspiring role models, we hope that they can see themselves in these roles and encourage them to reach their full potential.
Molly Askham, STEM Outreach Co-ordinator from Form the Future CIC, said
The team of ambassadors from the A14 were so enthusiastic about their roles and how they helped shape the larger scale of the project. It has been hugely inspiring for the students to see that there are so many routes into a career in STEM and hopefully they can now see how they could work in the industry in the future.
During the day, students are also asked to think about some of the skills needed in addition to subject knowledge and qualifications, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving and curiosity. The students that develop these skills most successfully during the activities will then be invited to attend the Cambridge LaunchPad award ceremony and additional educational trip at the end of the academic year.
Rhian Lawton, the A14 IDT’s Skills Co-ordinator, enjoyed having the students on-site for the day.
It has been great to see the children so excited and engaged by the activities. I’m sure we have inspired a few of these young people to consider a career in construction when they think about their next steps.
If you want to find out about how you can help inspire the next generation of STEM professionals, please visit: www.cambridge-launchpad.com