Youngsters encouraged into STEM careers


BSRIA welcomed a group of 9- and 10-year-old students from schools in Reading to its test facilities as part of a campaign to encourage youngsters to consider careers in engineering, science, technology and mathematics.

The visit was part of a campaign called ‘Routes into STEM’ by the charity EDT. This organisation has over 30 years’ experience of connecting young people with industry and employers all over the UK.

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 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!

Pearson said: “We were really impressed with the enthusiasm and capability of the group. It tells us that the young engineeringtalent is out there. 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 its members and businesses to participate and collaborate with such projects with their respective local schools.

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