Between March - July 2022, CrossCountry funded four Railway Engineering STEM+ Challenge Days across four schools in Coventry and Warwickshire. The area covered by Heart of England Community Rail Partnership (CRP), developed vital skills to inspire the next generation of engineers.
The CRP worked with the Smallpeice Trust to provide 230 students STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) sessions to raise awareness of rail in the Midlands, giving pupils the opportunity to understand the varied careers in the rail industry. The focus was mainly on engineering, however the events also included elements of project management and marketing, as well as presentations from CrossCountry people about their personal career experiences.
Feedback from the pupils was overwhelmingly positive with a staggering 91% of students across the programme saying they’d enjoyed the day, and 88% saying that they'd learnt new skills. 86% said they’d gained an increased appreciation of what railway engineers do. Teachers also rated the Challenge days as excellent, reporting back that they’d like to request another day, and would recommend them to other schools.
As part of the project Heart of England CRP were also able to provide funding to Nazeefah Ali from Bordesley Green Girl's School to attend the Birmingham University Rail Course. Nazeefah is now seriously considering a career in railway engineering!