Students embark on a STEAM Tour of Engine Shed to inspire future careers

On Tuesday 26th February, we were pleased to host students from Christ Church Junior School on a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths (STEAM) Tour to introduce them to the different opportunities available to them in these fields.

In the morning the students visited Unit DX, where they experienced a morning of workshops and experiments with volunteer students from University of Bristol and the companies that are based there. This was followed by a tour of Brunel’s historic Engine Shed building with Partnerships Manager Lorraine Fairbanks. The students were introduced to the coworking space, boomsatsuma classroom, Boxworks shipping container development and the Members’ Lounge.

Lorraine Fairbanks said:

“The pupils were really enthused to hear about the range of job opportunities and the different types of workspaces, and enjoyed hearing that entrepreneurs can start a business with a good idea that solves a problem. They especially loved seeing the range of food that was in our Caffe Gusto kiosk, the catering for meeting room customers and the healthy and not so healthy snacks in people’s offices!”

The students met with Emily Kent, Co-founder of One Big Circle, and gave their ideas for what could be done with some of the company’s new video tech, and later, HAB Housing provided workshops on place making and house building. The workshops showcased the varied roles and opportunities in the housing sector beyond building and labour and the students were able to design their dream homes to include things that were important to them.

The workshop was led by Scott Haskins, HAB’s Construction Manager who took the students through the complete process from design to delivery. Scott said:

“We were delighted to work with the school pupils and see some of the their wonderful ideas evolving. I can’t promise that we will be building football pitches and climbing walls in our next homes, but it was certainly great to see such creative flair.”

By engaging young people with the future career opportunities that are available to them, we aim to encourage a diverse workforce for the future that will be more inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Currently, STEAM industry workforces are not representative of Bristol and Bath’s diverse population, which is why Engine Shed runs tours and workshops to support young people from backgrounds that are currently under represented to overcome barriers when choosing their career paths.

Alex Desmond, Year 5/6 Phase Leader at Christ Church Junior School, Downend, said:

“Our year 5 children had a fantastic time on both visits and came away inspired about the opportunities that Bristol offers for careers in science and technology. They were in awe of the affects of liquid nitrogen and especially enjoyed designing their ideal home and new pieces of wearable tech!

“Not only did they get a unique chance to experience cutting edge technologies such as Ultrahaptics, but they also benefited from listening to a range of experts speak enthusiastically about their fields. We are very grateful to all the staff at Unit DX, Engine Shed, HAB Housing, One Big Circle, and Ultrahaptics for welcoming our students and inspiring them with such practical, informative, and fun sessions.“

For more information about our work with school and young people through our Diverse Workforce for the Future programme, visit our website.