Learning about building

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Pupils from Yewlands School in Sheffield got a taste of what it is like to work in the construction industry when they took on the roles of architects, engineers and environmentalists.

The event, supported by members of the local construction industry, took place during the school’s ‘STEM Week’ and aimed to encourage pupils to use the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills they have developed.

Construction Ambassadors from sector skills agency, CITB-ConstructionSkills, advised the pupils, aged between 11 and 15, as they put together a mock bid to build a housing estate on their own school’s playing fields.

The Ambassadors were joined by teachers and members of Women In Science and Technology, part of the Centre for Science Education based at Sheffield Hallam University which tries to encourage girls and women to follow careers in science, engineering, technology and the built environment.

Yewlands teacher Eleanor Garvie said: “The STEM subjects, particularly maths, can be very abstract at times.

“This project has given pupils the chance to engage with the knowledge they have gained in a fun, tangible and ultimately enjoyable way. By enriching our students’ experience through cross curricular learning projects, we hope to inspire them into seeing the importance of STEM subjects, and how they will impact on their future career aspirations.”

CITB-ConstructionSkills Ambassador David Robinson said the project had been a rewarding experience for the construction ambassadors involved as well as the pupils.

“As well as being a sounding board for students regarding the finer details of their bids, we’ve also been on hand to talk about our own positive experiences of the industry and give them advice on the various routes into construction. We hope the experience has inspired some budding future developers,” said Mr Robinson.