The Heart of England Community Rail Partnership joined with the Smallpeice Trust, an educational charity that inspires young people to pursue careers in science and engineering, to deliver an exciting 5 Year STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program in Secondary Schools across Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull, all fully funded by CrossCountry’s community fund.
The STEM 5 project provides students in Year’s 9–11 (aged between 13-16) with STEM days, visits to offsite rail locations and rail careers events as well as the opportunity for Year 11 students to win a fully funded place to the Future of Transport course at Birmingham University.
Year one of the project has now completed with 262 students taken part so far. Looking at feedback from the students 94% of them learnt something new and 56% would consider becoming an engineer.
The STEM Day consists of students exploring sustainable stations by designing one themselves, taking inspiration from a member of the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership's talk at the start of the day. Students then develop their design and investigation skills by designing and building a train (a chassis to go on rails, and a foam body that should be aerodynamic). The day rounds up with a marketing pitch from each team of students, promoting their train and station to the other students.
The Smallpeice Trust are part of the first three years of the project by providing STEM days to the year 9 cohorts. Heart of England CRP then take the lead when students go on through their school journey with offsite visits and the careers events with industry partners.