School pupils won an exciting and unique opportunity to visit the construction site of the new Worcestershire Parkway train station.
The winning students from Parkside Middle School, Bromsgrove, beat 37 other schools from the county in the Primary STEM Challenge competition.
As part of their prize, the budding engineers of the future visited the construction site of the new station on Monday 8th July.
The visit included a presentation from Tom Delaney, Contracts Project Manager, and Marrick Murphy, Worcestershire Parkway’s Site Manager. The students learned about what happens during the planning and construction phases of this major project; one of Worcestershire’s biggest and most impressive infrastructure schemes to date.
At the Primary STEM Challenge final in March, the teams were challenged to build a model of a train station out of the well-known K’Nex toy construction kits – a theme specifically chosen to celebrate the construction of the Worcestershire Parkway train station which is due to open to the public later this year.
The Primary STEM Challenge provides workshops for participating primary and middle schools across Worcestershire to improve their STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) engagement.
The programme is delivered by STEMworks, which is a not-for-profit company run in partnership with Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and District Councils across the county.
The programme's stakeholders have committed to supporting the project for another year with workshops starting in Autumn 2019, before the final takes place in summer 2020.
Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “This was a great opportunity to see construction in action for these potential engineers of the future.
I’m delighted that we’ve been able to make this visit happen. Careers in STEM are hugely important to the county and its economy. In this region that prides itself on the tech sector, I’m hoping that these students will continue their passion and turn it into a career, right here in Worcestershire.”
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Primary STEM Challenge and Junior Internship Programme are two of our key projects within the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s ‘Creating our Future Workforce’ campaign.
This visit has been a fantastic way to utilise one of the county’s flagship infrastructure projects at the Worcestershire Parkway construction site to inspire local young people about STEM careers right here in the heart of Worcestershire.”
The Middle School pupils were also joined by a Worcester Sixth Form student, Alistair Weatherby, who is taking part in the Junior Internship Programme, a new pilot scheme where students are linked with local employers for mentoring and work experience opportunities.
The Junior Internship Programme is entering its second year following its pilot which helped 14 students from Worcester Sixth Form and Heart of Worcestershire College, by providing the opportunity to be linked to a Worcestershire employer for the two-year programme.
During this time, each student matched with an employer for two weeks of work experience each year (four weeks in total), with monthly mentoring provided by that employer. Recruitment for the 2nd cohort of Junior Interns will commence during the Autumn term.
Schools can register to take part in the exciting Primary STEM challenge. To get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a registration form.