Key players in the East Midlands rail industry were looking for an innovative way to attract bright new talent and engage school aged children towards STEM related subjects with a view to a career on the railway. By Design developed the concept of Innovative Rail ‘iRail’ and have designed, managed and delivered a high profile STEM showcase event and outreach programme bringing regional schools together at an annual event. Now, we have introduced iRail to schools across the Birmingham area, with engaging in-school workshops.
Outline of the workshop:
The workshop lasts three hours and is delivered in 3 separate 1 hour sessions in a rotation format. The workshops are delivered by one of our very experienced delivery team accompanied by a STEM Ambassador from Young Rail Professionals, as giving the student’s access to someone who is actually working in the industry greatly enriches the student’s experience of the day.
Our sessions include:
Our sessions start with an introduction to the breadth of the industry and some fun facts. It also includes a segment called ‘Meet an Engineer’ where the students will try to answer some simple questions about the STEM Ambassador’s career, educational background and career progression. The students will use Quizdom handsets to log their answers to those questions. After each question, we will look at the answer data to see which students answered correctly and ask them why they chose that answer. They will then be provided with the correct and more detailed answer.
This will be followed by a simple circuit board challenge to light a bulb which demonstrates signalling.
We will also look at innovation and the use of technology in rail. The students will be given an information card about one particular area related to the wider rail industry and challenged to design an app that could assist this area. They are provided with a template to help prompt their design and then present their designs to each other.
They will consider the other skills you need to work in the rail industry and how to get them. There will be a facilitated group discussion, followed by a teamwork robots based activity. Followed by a short reflection about what skills they used in that activity, how they could improve or better utilise their skills to improve the outcome, which of those skills relate to the rail industry how they can demonstrate these skills on a CV.
We will then recap the main messages and conclude the session with information on their local iRail event.
The sessions are easily accommodated into a normal classroom environment.