Y7 students building a bridge out of straws and tape On Friday, 14 October, 60 lucky Year 7 students undertook a specially designed interactive workshop in the hall at ER, led by HS2, and comprising of a full day’s worth of activities to inspire students to become ‘Extraordinary People Initiating Change’ and showcasing the creative, technology- driven solutions used in rail and infrastructure industries.

HS2 is the new high-speed railway that will form the backbone of Britain’s transport network. ‘EPIC Engineers’ and ‘Learn by Design’ teamed up with HS2 to grow skills needed in the transport infrastructure industries and this workshop was focused on the STEM skills needed in this sector as well as increasing student understanding of the different types of careers that can be found in the transport industry and their importance in the future.

The students were welcomed by the HS2 facilitator and immediately began designing a railway station of the future in teams of four, applying their understanding of STEM career roles and developing their teamwork, creativity and communication skills.Year 7 students building a bridge out of straws and tape

The students then presented their ideas to the rest of the teams and then applied their newly acquired skills to solve a real-world design problem by building a bridge out of straws and tape. Finally, students used their understanding of STEM careers to manage a rail network.

The students all had a great time during the workshop and particularly enjoyed designing the station of the future and working within a team to create a bridge. Kyshani, 7P, said: ‘I was really happy using my artistic skills designing a train station for 2050.’

Abeer, 7K, said: ‘The workshop was amazing and I learned so many new skills and loved drawing the train stations floor plan’.

Shaheem, 7K, said: ‘The most enjoyable part of the workshop was definitely building the tunnel as it was challenging to understand how to build a light but very strong construction’.