BSRIA stages Routes into STEM event

To promote EDT’s Routes into STEM  scheme which gives students invaluable and tangible experience for a career path in science, technology, engineering and maths after GCSEs, BSRIA was delighted to recently welcome a group of year 9 and 10 students from schools in Reading to its world-renowned test facilities.

EDT is a nationwide educational charity with over 30 years’ experience, delivering over 40,000 STE(A)M experiences each year, connecting young people, educators, partners and employers across the UK. The Routes into STEM is an Industrial Cadets accredited scheme which allows young people to demonstrate experience and progression, empowering them to succeed in future study and make informed career choices.

As part of EDT’s programme – students spend a “taster” day of STEM-related activities at a college, university and in a company to find inspiration for the type of career suited to their “passions and strengths”.

Colin Pearson, head of Building Performance, Building Thermography Technical Expert, Sustainable Construction Group, BSRIA, kicked off the event with an introduction to thermography, where the students got stuck-in with a hands-on experiment involving infrared cameras and Coca-Cola cans filled with varying temperatures of water. The cans had stickers on the side and students had to gauge the temperatures of the different parts of each can. The heat would be reflected by said stickers.

Colin explained that with buildings and airtightness – faults can and do creep in. Cold outside air can affect inside air temperatures too – especially in winter.

The group then moved to BSRIA’s UKAS-accredited test house laboratories. A further six building services engineering experiments followed with students tackling measuring temperature in the workshops, again using thermal-imaging infrared cameras. These tests involved: a radiator, fire extinguisher, boiler, light, a chair in a cold room and a human hand!

Colin said: “We were really impressed with the enthusiasm and capability of the group. It tells us that the young engineering talent is out there and it is up to the industry and organisations like BSRIA to attract them into one of the many fulfilling careers we can offer.

“That’s 24 young people (and their parents) that didn’t know what building services engineering was and hadn’t heard of BSRIA, but now have! Hopefully, we’ll see one or two of them in the future, be it with us or one of our members.

“Indeed: in the UK, now and in the future, we need more young people to be aware of the careers available to them in STEM industries, such as construction and engineering, which can lead to exciting careers.

“This activity also fits in well with BSRIA’s INSPIRE project which works with local schools, national and local politicians and the media to promote STEM and change its perceptions. Industry recruitment and succession planning is crucial – the INSPIRE project will address this.”

Steve Ross, Routes into STEM coordinator, said: “We were delighted with the student engagement during the day and a huge thank you to BSRIA for making this possible. The enthusiasm of all the activity leaders was infectious and showed off the rewarding and diverse career possibilities to students, when they study STEM subjects at school.”

Julia Evans, chief executive, BSRIA, presented all the students with an Industrial Cadets ‘bronze’ personalised certificate – to mark completion of this three day course.

BSRIA urges members and businesses to participate and collaborate with such projects with their respective local schools.

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