As well as supporting our nine partner schools, Young Crossrail also support, where possible, other schools close to the route. Find out about some of our engagement activities below.
Engineering Your Future
Young Crossrail volunteers supported an “Engineering Your Future” event in collaboration with the IMechE, IET and ICE engineering institutions.
The event for young people aged 15-18 aimed to illustrate the diverse careers available to students interested in engineering and to encourage students to study engineering after leaving school or college. Young Crossrail ambassadors worked alongside others from Transport for London, Bechtel, and First Co. to deliver interactive sessions, including hands on engineering activities and talks to young people. The sessions focused on showcasing the engineering industry with a particular focus on raising awareness of the importance of engineering in society and the economy amongst young people.
Volunteers from Crossrail spoke about their individual career pathways and took questions from some of the 120 enthusiastic students that took part in the day.
National Apprenticeship Week
National Apprentice Week took place between 14th- 18th March. The week aims to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals and businesses. Crossrail have welcomed over 540 apprentices to work on the project since construction begun against an original target of 400.
To celebrate the week, colleagues from Crossrail contractor ATC JV* visited Plumstead Manor School for Girls to talk to year eight students about career pathways and job opportunities available within the construction industry. Members of the ATC team, including Environmental Auditors, Human Resources professionals, Engineers, Quality managers, Project Managers and apprentices took part in the event. Students learnt about the Crossrail project and the wider transport industry and met apprentices to find out more about their roles, what an apprenticeship involves and the different types of apprenticeships available.
The second half of the session focused on women in construction. Women from the site team hosted a Q/A with the students where girls from the school were able to ask questions about their job roles and pathways into the industry.
To wrap the day up, students were challenged to think like engineers and project managers to make the tallest towers they could using limited resources of marshmallows and spaghetti.
*Alstom, TSO and Costain Joint Venture
World of Work Roadshow
Over one thousand young people attended a World of Work roadshow in London which aimed to equip students with up to date information about jobs, apprenticeships, internships and graduate Schemes.
Company representatives from across multiple industries took part in the day to help young people think about the different options available to them after leaving full time education. Young Crossrail ambassadors supported the event and spent the day speaking to young people about their career aspirations and answering concerns and questions they had about the future. Students were interested to find out about the Crossrail project and spoke to some of the Crossrail engineers who supported the event about their careers and route into the engineering industry.
Young Crossrail celebrates International Women’s Day
To mark International Women’s Day, Young Crossrail ambassadors supported a number of events with young people.
Heather McPherson (Handover Manager), Monya Alkhalisi (Lead T&C Coordinator) and Pamela McInroy (Health & Safety Specialist - Diversity & Inclusion) visited Young Crossrail partner school, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson to talk to girls about their careers and the skills required. Heather and Monya spoke about some of the exciting projects they have been involved in and highlighted that engineering careers can take you all over the world. The aim of the day was to inspire girls to consider the huge variety of construction and engineering roles available to them and highlight how women can and have made such an impact in the industry.
Students took part in a resilience and confidence building workshop, which encouraged girls to think about their goals, who inspires them and what they would like to achieve in the future. Girls were taught about the importance of using their voices to be heard and included in conversations and also had a chance to practice their power poses.
Pamela said: "I had the privilege of running a workshop with a group of young women and have to say I was encouraged to see such a enthusiasm and interest in careers in STEM* subjects".
*STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
Inspiring women speak to students about STEM!
Young Crossrail ambassadors continued the celebrations to mark International Women’s Day with students from schools across West London.
The aim of the day was to raise ambitions and aspirations of girls by giving them the opportunity to interact with educational providers and women in STEM industries. Women from the Crossrail project attended the event and shared stories of their professional life to help girls aspire to work in a wider range of roles, particularly non-traditional ones.
Girls took part in a number of interactive activities on the stand including a “guess the engineer” game where students were challenged to match the engineer to the correct fact. Students also got a chance to have their say on what they thought engineering entailed by leaving a comment on a pop up “what does engineering mean to you” white board.
Students commented that as a result of the event, they feel more able to make informed choices about their future and were more aware of STEM careers.
St. Marylebone School careers fair
Representatives from a range of different industries were invited to take part in a careers fair to raise awareness of different types of careers. Young Crossrail ambassadors from across the project visited the school to provide an overview of the project and their roles.
host a stand and the business role is to talk informally to students about your organisation, sector or career path. For Year 9 students (13-14 years) these conversations are part of process of choosing their GCSE subjects and may be the first time students start seriously thinking about what they want to do in the future. For Year 12 A-Level students many will have already started seriously thinking about what careers they may like to pursue, whether that includes university or School Leaver Programs – so these students may want to ask more targeted questions about how employees started on their career path.
Canons High School careers fair
Canons High School hosted a careers evening to help inspire and inform students about the range of job opportunities available to them.
Young Crossrail ambassadors, David Coleman and Vinesh Patel spoke to students and their parents about the Crossrail project, the types of roles available and their own stories about what inspired them to work in the construction and engineering industries. David joined Crossrail as Business Administration Apprentice so was more than happy to talk about his experience of taking the apprenticeship route and the opportunities it has given him to progress. Vinesh joined Crossrail on the graduate scheme and had previously been inspired by Crossrail colleagues at a similar event that took place at his school. The Crossrail stand was busy with lots of students interested in knowing which subjects they should take and wider job opportunities within transport and infrastructure.
Crossrail link in with students University Challenge
During the autumn term, Young Crossrail ambassadors supported year seven students at the University Academy of Engineering with their “Citizens of London” project. The project aimed to equip students with an understanding of London and the environment around them and encouraged them to think about the complicated processes involved in major infrastructure projects.
Navid Hojjati and Robin Underwood, both graduate engineers, launched the project by presenting to students about the Crossrail project and their roles. They also defined the project and set the brief. Students were challenged to build a transportation structure and pitch their idea to Spanish authorities.
In follow up engineering lessons, Navid and Robin supported the students in understanding structural engineering concepts. Students learnt how to systematically think about developing a new product by taking the end user, manufacturing method and materials into account. Students also learnt about the basics of product development from conceptual design to prototyping and explored the different forces that act on buildings.
Construction students visit Woolwich site
Before the Christmas holidays, 12 construction students from Croydon College visited Crossrail’s Woolwich site.
After being inspired by the “15 Billion Pound Railway” documentaries students were keen to find out more about the project, in particular, the machinery and processes involved on site to get the job done. This was the first time the group had visited a live construction site as part of their course, and their enthusiasm was evident in the number of questions they asked. Michael McGrath, Site Manager, led the group on a tour of the tunnels. Michael explained how the tracks had recently been laid and outlined the plans for the arrival of the platform screen doors. Students also got to see where the escalators would go and even the maintenance room where all the technology and switch boxes will be housed.
Schools debate at Parliament
As part of the Transport for London (TfL) 100 YOWIT* campaign, teams of year 9 students across London took part in a schools debating competition. The event aimed to encourage young people to find out more about the history of transport and the importance of women’s representation in the industry over the past century.
An initial debate day during November, facilitated by Young Crossrail ambassadors, was held to provide students with a brief overview on the history of women in transport to aid with their debate preparations. The top four performing teams were invited to debate in a final at the House of Lords on 1st December. One of the finalists was Young Crossrail partner school – St. Marylebone. Not only did this team get to the final four, they won the overall competition! Their prize is a unique opportunity to ride in the driver’s cabin of a London Tube train!
*100 YOWIT – 100 Years of Women in Transport
First Lego League victory for Young Crossrail partner school
Three Young Crossrail partner schools took part in this year’s First Lego League competition. The science and technology competition encourages teams of students to solve real world problems.
Student teams worked together to build and programme a Lego robot to complete a number of point scoring challenges within just two minutes. Young Crossrail ambassadors supported the three schools taking part; Westminster Academy, St. Marylebone School and St. Pauls Way Trust School by mentoring the teams and assisting with the project brief. The regional heats took part on 28th November with St. Pauls Way Trust School taking the winning title. They will go on to compete in the National finals in February.
Students find out about Crossrail works near them
Student’s from Villiers High School were visited by Young Crossrail ambassador Dinesh Hansla. Students at the school were interested in the works taking place at their local Crossrail station, Southall, since construction began.
Dinesh, Graduate Engineer, spoke to year 7 students in an assembly about the Crossrail project, the works taking place in their local area and the positive impact Crossrail will have once fully operational in 2018.
Abubaker, student aged 11, said: “I learnt many things that I didn’t know about Crossrail before and I know that everyone in Year 7 enjoyed the presentation. I wasn’t shy to ask Dinesh questions and he let me answer with confidence”
Students were so inspired by the talk, that their teachers set them on a task to design their own version of Southall station. Dinesh said: “the winning station designs were incredibly well thought out, detailed and imaginative”.
Crossrail inspire the next generation at Skills Shows
The Young Crossrail team were busy at the Skills Shows in London and Birmingham, showcasing the project and encouraging young people to consider careers in engineering, rail, transport and major projects.
The Crossrail stand had a "Routes to Your Future" theme which encouraged young people to find out about the various roles available to them within the transport and infrastructure industries.
Video footage from the project was shown on multiple screens along with a games dock which encouraged young people to test their skills at driving a Tunnel Boring Machine and making a spray concrete lined tunnel.
Young people also enjoyed climbing into the driving seat to see and feel what it would be like to drive a real digger!
With over 5000 visitors to the Crossrail stands we were nearly overwhelmed with the level of interest in careers in our sector which was fantastic to witness.
Lauren Hillier, Young Crossrail Programme Manager said: “It was fantastic to see so many young people interested in careers in our industry. The majority of young people and their parents were interested in finding out more about apprenticeships in particular. Thank you to all the enthusiastic volunteers, including graduates and apprentices who talked to young people about their career pathways”.
Valerie Todd, Talent and Resources Director, said: “Thanks to everyone who gave their time so generously. The level of interest at shows like this is hugely encouraging, and Crossrail continues to leave a lasting impression on young people and the wider industry.”
Young Crossrail celebrates Tomorrow’s Engineers week
To celebrate Tomorrow’s Engineers week, the Young Crossrail team hosted an event for four partner schools. Year 9 students from Rokeby, St.Pauls Way Trust, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and St. Marylebone Schools took part. The aim of Tomorrow’s Engineers week is to shine a spotlight on engineering careers in a way that young people, and particularly girls, may have never considered before.
During the session at Head Office, twenty students learnt about the project and some of the key construction milestones reached to date. The aim of the session was to give students an overview of structural engineering, including some of the techniques Crossrail use to monitor ground movement/ building monitoring and surveying. To put structural engineering into context, Duncan Law, Site Manager at Farringdon Station, presented to the group on his experiences of being caught up in the Nepal earthquake in April. Duncan commented on the type of structures left devastated by the quake and what is being done, with the help of engineers, to help rebuild communities affected.
Paul Chambers, Graduate Civil Engineer at Paddington station spoke to students about his role on one of the biggest Crossrail sites. He also talked about his reasons for becoming an engineer and even gave the students a science lesson in structural engineering identifying what can go wrong if engineering is done badly!
Students then got a chance to build their own structures using marshmallows and toothpicks. With their limited resource’s, the teams had to think like engineers to plan and build their structures. To test if the structures maintained structural integrity, students were challenged to build their towers on a bed of jelly!
Skilled Up for Skills London
Young Crossrail ambassadors supported “Skill Up for Skills London” at the London Transport Museum. Over 100 students and their teachers networked with some of Crossrail's graduates and apprentices amongst the Museum’s collection of vintage and modern vehicles. The session equipped young people with the networking and communication skills which they put to use the following week when they spoke to company representatives at the Skills London careers fair.
Young Crossrail ambassadors inspire Crossrail graduate
Young Crossrail ambassadors, Regina Tumblepot and Gavin Vandecar volunteered at a careers evening at Canons High School.
The event aimed to equip students and their parents with information about careers across different industries. Regina and Gavin met ex-student Vinesh Tailor at the event who was visiting the school to speak to current students about their career aspirations.
At the time, Vinesh was in his final year studying Mechanical Engineering at Queen Mary University of London and after speaking to both Regina and Gavin decided to apply for the graduate scheme at Crossrail. He is now working on the project in his new role as a Graduate Mechanical Engineer. Vinesh said: “it was fantastic meeting Gavin and Regina who both inspired me about the project and helped me realise how my degree in Mechanical Engineering can be utilised on a large construction project like Crossrail”.
Regina said: “It’s so rewarding to hear that the Young Crossrail volunteering programme is inspiring young people like Vinesh into a STEM career. It is especially pleasing to see that Vinesh has chosen a technical route which has served me so well!” Gavin said: “I found the day worthwhile and rewarding to meet so many enthusiastic young people who were both keen and interested in our project”.
Vinesh is looking forward to going back to the school in January 2016 to speak about his experiences as a graduate on the project, and hopefully inspiring more young people to join the industry.
Farringdon gets Technical
Students from MidKent College of Higher and Further Education in the UK and Ichinoseki College of Technology in Japan visited Crossrail's Farringdon station.
The students who study Engineering and IT courses, heard from a number of enthusiastic and knowledgeable colleagues based at Farringdon station.Linda Miller, Project Manager gave an overview of the current works on site including some interesting insights into the history of the area. Students were particularly keen to hear about the latest technological advancements in the construction industry. Antonio Torres, BIM Engineer, spoke about how the team uses BIM (Business Information Modelling) in order to monitor, assess and organise the works on site. Students also learnt about Crossrail’s Innovate18 programme. Olga Konopka, Assistant Engineering Manager, spoke to students about the importance of capturing creative and innovative ideas and how the supply chain are encouraged to do the same. The teachers were particularly impressed with Innovate18, and are going to look at ways to start a similar initiative at the colleges.
Students were able to see first hand the works going on during a view of the site from the viewing platform.
Summer Science School
Students from across East London joined in the celebrations at St. Pauls Way Trust School at the annual Science Summer School.
Science enthusiasts from local schools were given the chance to interact with some of Britain’s leading scientists and engineers through a programme of seminars, discussions and hands-on experiments.
The Young Crossrail team were on hand to deliver an engaging project management task challenging students to think like engineers, planners and marketeers for a new city railway. Students thought up some brilliant ideas for the new rail link including, super speedy trains, free wifi and a vibrating head rest that wakes passengers up when they are reaching their stop!
Engineering and Technology Careers Day
16 July 2015
Young Crossrail ambassadors with technology and engineering backgrounds supported an event to at St. Marylebone School to promote careers in technology and engineering to girls in year 9.
To kick start the morning, volunteers introduced themselves to groups of students and spoke briefly about their careers. After some fascinating questions from the students, volunteers from a number of organisations, including Crossrail acted as mentors in a speed networking carousel. Students quizzed volunteers on what a day in the life consisted of for them as well as finding out about the exciting pathways into the engineering and technology industries including apprenticeship and graduate routes.
Groups worked in teams to design a snappy poster which summarised the volunteer’s career path, which was shared with the rest of the group.
Cathy Groom, Application Developer and Young Crossrail ambassador said: “The students were really engaged and asked really interesting and sometimes unusual questions. When I left school I had received no useful careers advise whatsoever so it was lovely to be part of an event that gave as much information as possible to help the girls make informed choices about their futures."
Teachers come to Crossrail
6-17 July 2015
Following on from the success of last years Teacher Industrial Partners Scheme (TIPS*), two more teachers recently completed a two week industry placement at Crossrail.
The aim of the programme is to place STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) teachers into industry in order for them to understand the complexity, scale and most importantly, the vast array of career opportunities in engineering and construction which they can relate back to students in the classroom.
During the two week industry placement, teachers met with colleagues from right across the Crossrail project and were given an insight into not only the construction of Crossrail, but into the legacy pieces on the project including, Diversity, Social Sustainability including apprenticeships, Archaeology and the Environment. The teachers also visited the London Transport Museum, TUCA** and a number of sites including Bond St, Whitechapel, Liverpool St and Paddington.
Mark McGowran (Physics Teacher at Cardinal Pole Catholic School) said: “The TIPS placement was a fantastic opportunity and where better to do it than at one of the most exciting engineering projects around, Crossrail. I learned a lot, more than I had initially thought and I am looking forward to share this, inspiring young minds and guiding those interested in getting into engineering”
Rose Russell (Technician and Science Teacher at The Ursuline Academy) made a fantastic video diary from her time on the project.
*The Teacher Industrial Partners Scheme (TIPS) is a joint initiative by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the National Science Learning Centre. The programme works by placing teachers with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) backgrounds into engineering organisations.
** Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy
Mock Interviews at Cumberland School
14 July 2015
Young Crossrail ambassadors supported year 9 students from Cumberland School in an event aimed at preparing them for the world of work.
In particular, volunteers focused on teaching students about interviews including why they are used, how they are run and when they take place. Volunteers shared their personal experiences of the interview process and gave advice and top tips for managing pre-interview nerves. Volunteers also spent time with students to help them formulate good answers at interview and were on hand to answer questions from students throughout the morning.
In the second half of the session, volunteers were paired with students to run through a role play interview scenario. The students were able to put into practice the interview techniques they had been taught earlier in the day.
Samantha Blackmore, IT Project Manager and one of the volunteers on the day said: “for some of the students this was the first time they had been in an interview situation and the school was really keen for it to be a positive and encouraging experience for them. Although they were nervous, the students soon settled in to the questioning and it was enjoyable to listen to the skills and experience they had to offer future employers”.
Another volunteer, Carl Muchenagumbo, Contract Administrator said: "Overall, I felt that the session improved the students confidence as they identified their strengths & made them more aware of the things that employers look for during an interview"
After the interviews, each student was given valuable constructive feedback on their communication skills and body language enabling them to reflect on their performance and make any necessary adjustments for future interviews.
National Women in Engineering Day
26 June 2015
Year 8 girls from Young Crossrail partner schools, Westminster Academy, St. Marylebone and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson visited Crossrail’s head office for a morning of activities to celebrate National Women in Engineering Day.
Valerie Todd CBE, Talent and Resources Director, kick-started the day by speaking about the project and sharing stories about her childhood and career. Female engineers from across the project also supported the event by sharing exciting facts about their engineering careers. Students took part in an exciting game of Networking Bingo quizzing the engineers in order to match up the facts with the right engineer! Linda Miller, Project Manager – Farringdon Station, gave an inspiring talk, including a story about the work she’d done with her fellow engineers back in the USA to save baby turtles from the construction works overhead.
After lots of questions, the students were challenged with designing a campaign to encourage more women into engineering. The teams came up with some brilliant ideas, including displaying architecture and pieces of engineering created by women in popular hotspots in cities, and creating posters to highlight some of the great benefits of working in the industry. The winning team came up with a #Femgineers hashtag to use in social media, and presented their campaign in the form of a radio interview.
Linda Miller, Farringdon Station Project Manager said: “I was so encouraged by the intelligent, courteous, inquisitive questions! If these young people are anything to go by, this is a generation that will do great things and so I want them IN OUR INDUSTRY!!”
Safety Scenarios at Junior Citizens Scheme
1-19 June 2015
During the summer term, the Young Crossrail team continued to support the Junior Citizens Scheme led by the MET. The interactive personal safety initiative is supported by a number of organisations who simultaneously run short ten minute workshops to Primary School children throughout the day.
The three week initiative is borough led and this year Young Crossrail have supported Newham and Waltham Forest boroughs.
The Crossrail workshop focuses on teaching children about the dangers of HGV* blind spots and what they can do to “Be Safe, Be Seen” which encourages children to wear helmets, reflective clothing and bike lights at night.
Over the three week period, Young Crossrail delivered the safety workshop to over 3,000 young people from over 50 schools in Newham and Waltham Forest.
Valentines High School get up to date with Crossrail
18 May 2015
As part of the Crossrail-linked initiatives Valentines High School is currently running within the curriculum, Young Crossrail ambassador Jonathan Baggs visited the school to provide a latest update on the project to students.
The students were particularly interested in understand the latest developments and works at Crossrail’s Farringdon, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf sites. Jonathan gave an overview of the Crossrail project before going in to more detail about the worksites in parts of Central and East London.
The students had previously been working on projects linked with the Crossrail project, including collecting primary data in the form of surveys, questionnaires and land use maps. The aim of the project is to give students an understanding of the developments taking shape in their local areas. During the talk, the students asked intelligent and wide-ranging questions and were enthusiastic about considering careers in engineering..
Jonathan said: “The pupils were very receptive both to the purpose behind Crossrail, the engineering feat underway to create the new railway, and how it might fit in to their own future commutes around London.”
Problem Solving...Bridge Building
30 April 2015
Year three students from Cherry Orchard Primary School and Eglinton Primary School visited Crossrail’s Head Office for a morning of building and constructing.
Young Crossrail ambassadors supported the event, and were on hand to answer the children’s questions in an interview style introduction session. Students worked in teams to come up with questions they wanted to ask their volunteer. Questions such as, “what did you want to be when you were my age?” and “what do you like about your job?” were asked.
Over the course of the day the students learned about some of the challenges that Crossrail had overcome, which provided a great link between a real life project and the one that they were about to be set.
In teams, the students worked together to design and build the most imaginative bridges they could. A student from Cherry Orchard Primary School said: “I really liked it when we were making our bridge because we put everybody’s ideas together so we could make it stand.” At the end of the day, they presented their bridges to a panel of judges and a winning team was announced. The students strengthened their imagination skills to design and build a bridge within a very tight schedule. This meant that they needed to rely on their teamwork and listening skills to make sure that the project ran smoothly.
Talking about Careers
27 March 2015
Crossrail contractor Laing O’Rourke supported a careers day at Maria Fidelis School as part of the schools initiative around inspiring more students to think about careers in construction.
Year 8 students from the school were given an introduction to Laing O’Rourke, detailing several of the construction projects currently being undertaken and in particular the Crossrail works that are taking place at Tottenham Court Road.
The students were set an engineering challenge which required them to work in small teams and build a structure capable of supporting a 1kg load. The load also had to be suspended at least 150mm above the table top. The task was made even more difficult as the students were limed to only using six sheets of A4 paper. One of the teams even managed to complete the task using only two sheets! Each structure was tested and judged by a panel of judges for their ability to successfully hold the load, the stability of the structure and the aesthetics.
The challenge allowed students to use their communication and imagination skills which were useful in reaching the objectives of the challenge. The teams also used their resources in an effective and efficient way to reach the task deadline.
Throughout the morning, the students were able to ask questions to volunteers from Laing O’Rourke to find out more about the broad range of career opportunities available within engineering and construction.
Students encourage businesses to the Royal Docks
24 March 2015
Students from Primary and Secondary Schools across Newham took part in an Industry Day run by London City Airport and the ExCel.
Students were given a business challenge at the start of the day entitled "How would you promote the Royal Docks as a world class business destination".
Throughout the morning students worked in teams and were aided by business volunteers from Crossrail Eastern Tunnels contractor, Dragados Sisk Joint Venture (DSJV), and a range of other industry professionals.
The teams worked on all aspects of a marketing campaign, including researching the local area, developing a logo and mission statement and social media campaigns. The students then presented back to business volunteers and were given scores for team work, understanding and overall project content.
Winning teams were rewarded with days in industry offered by businesses that supported the event.
Schools Debate at the Houses of Parliament
23 March 2015
For the first time, Young Crossrail hosted a debate between three partner schools at the House of Commons. Terry Morgan, Chairman, chaired the event between Westminster Academy, Greenwich University Technical College and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School. Each team were supported by a Crossrail ambassador who acted as a mentor and helped the team formulate their arguments.
The schools competed against each other on a number of debate topics including apprenticeship vs. graduate routes into employment and positive discrimination within the engineering industry. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Westminster Academy made it through to the final and debated the following: The UK has become too London-centric and more money should be invested in the rest of the country – agree/disagree. Both teams put forward excellent arguments to the judging panel.
Terry Morgan judged the teams, alongside Mary Macleod MP, Mike Gapes MP and Elizabeth Gillbe, Head of Financial Control at Crossrail. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson won the overall debate, winning a trophy for the school and a tour of the Houses of Parliament.
Ready, Steady, Go4set
13 March 2015
Four of Young Crossrail’s partner schools, Westminster Academy, Rokeby, Greenwich UTC and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson came together in a celebration and assessment day for a project they have been working on over the last ten weeks.
The project, entitled “Stations of the Future” challenged students to think about how they could make a station of their choosing more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Crossrail's Chief Executive, Andrew Wolstenholme kindly joined us for part of the day, where he spoke to the teams about the challenges and how they over came problems during the challenge and spoke to students about their aspirations for the future.
A panel of assessors, made up of Young Crossrail ambassadors from across the project helped to judge the final project reports and their display stands. Royal Greenwich UTC won the overall prize, with Westminster Academy winning a prize for Best Display Stand and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School winning an award for Best Project report.
By completing the go4set project, all students have been awarded with the Silver CREST award and have earned extra accreditation and becoming 'Industrial Cadets' at Bronze level.
Tunnelling Talent at TUCA
12 March 2015
The Young Crossrail team supported an event held at the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) as part of National Apprenticeship week.
The team ran an employability skills workshop for students from Valentines High School, Greenwich University Technical College and Rokeby School. The session encouraged students to think about their transferable skills and personal attributes which will assist with CV writing.
Students also took part in a quick fire round of Crossrail Top Trumps learning interesting facts about Crossrail's archaeological findings and costings.
Apprenticeship advice at Oaks Park High School
25 February 2015
Young Crossrail ambassadors supported an apprenticeship event for students in years 9-13 to provide advice about routes into the engineering industry.
Since the beginning of the project, Crossrail has employed over 400 apprentices. Two of Crossrail's corporate apprentices working on the project volunteered at the event to enthuse students about the vast number of apprenticeships available for those interested in working in the engineering industry.
Luke Lennon said: "I really enjoyed speaking to students at the event, it was interesting to listen to their career aspirations and talk about my own career pathway so far".
Ryan Peters said: "It was great to be able to give advice to students who aren't quite sure what they want to do when they leave school, I was in the same position a few years ago so I know how they feel".
Ryan Peters and Luke Lennon joined Crossrail through the apprenticeship scheme and are passionate about the opportunities this has given them.
Partner Schools celebrate wins at First Lego League Tournament
1 February 2015
Two of Young Crossrail’s’ partner schools, Swanlea School in Tower Hamlets and Rokeby School in Newham took part in this years FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition.
The FLL challenges students to think like scientists and engineers by building, testing, and programming autonomous robots to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. This year’s theme was entitled World Class where students were tasked with thinking of ways to make learning more fun.
The Regional Finals took place in November (2014) with teams from both Rokeby and Swanlea Schools winning awards. Rokeby won an award entitled “Safety Champions”, but it was Swanlea School who won the overall award taking them through to the UK and Ireland finals in Loughborough in February.
Arlette Cole, Crossrail Field Engineer, said: “Aided by their awesome robot, “Alan”, the team delivered a cracking presentation on how to bring divergent thinking to the classroom and also displayed fantastic sportsmanship.”
Although Swanlea didn’t make it through to the European finals, they took away an award for “Insight into Learning” which was presented by the MP for Loughborough and Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan.
Students plan new transportation links for City
30 January 2015
Last week, the Young Crossrail team hosted students interested in Engineering at Crossrail's Head Office in Canary Wharf.
Students from Sweyne Park School were introduced to the Crossrail project before hearing from Ali Shad, an engineer working on the project. Ali spoke about the route he decided to take into the industry and inspired the students by talking about his interesting career to date.
After an interactive Q&A session, students were tasked with taking on various roles, such as Project Manager, Planners or Engineers to plan a route for a new railway through a busy city. Students presented back their ideas at the end of the session.
Judges were impressed by the imagination and technical perspective the students had thought about, including energy saving magnetic tracks and luxury facilities on-board the trains. Feedback was positive with 95% of students rating the day as “excellent” and 84% agreeing that engineering was somewhat desirable or very desirable.
Helen Ferguson, a Science teacher at the school said: "Students were totally engaged with the challenge and the session provided an insight into the world of engineering outside of the classroom, which the students loved".
Newham Junior Citizens Scheme
26 January - 14 February 2015
Young Crossrail once again worked with the Metropolitan Police as part of the three-week Junior Citizens Scheme for Primary school students in Newham.
The event ran during January and saw Young Crossrail ambassadors present a ten-minute cycle safety scenario alongside safety scenarios from other organisations including the MET Police, London Fire Brigade and Youth Offending Team. Crossrail’s “Be Safe, Be Seen” interactive session encouraged children to wear helmets, reflective clothing and bike lights at night and to understand the dangers of blind spots through the use of a mock-up HGV lorry, webcam and a related video clip.
Ben Howell, Community Liaison Trainee (Crossrail Eastern Tunnels) said: “Getting involved with this event was great. The children really engaged with the safety messages I talked about. They especially enjoyed standing in the lorry blind spot trying to catch the drivers attention by waving at the webcam – I think most if not all of the children were shocked at how much lorry drivers can’t see.”
GCSE options support at Rokeby School
22 January 2015
Crossrail's eastern tunnels contractor, Dragados Sisk Joint Venture (DSJV), supported a careers morning at Rokeby School for year 9 students soon to be choosing their GCSE options.
The school organised the event in order to inspire and inform students about the types of careers available to them. Many businesses were present on the day and students rotated between sessions throughout the morning. Colleagues from DSJV spoke about the role that they have working on the Crossrail project and provided information about careers in engineering.
A particular aim of the event was to encourage students to think about how having a second language is beneficial within the working world. A large number of students at the school speak a second or third language but don't understand how this could put them a step ahead in the world of work.
Juan Astolfi Fernandez, an engineer working on the project, spoke to students about his early career and what he enjoys about working on Crossrail. Juan, originally from Barcelona, engaged students by telling them about the different places across the world his job has taken him and how he uses both English and Spanish working on projects like Crossrail.
Students prepare for the world of work
9 January 2015
The Young Crossrail team and ambassadors from across the project supported Elizabeth Garratt Anderson School, with their “Presenting Yourself Day” for year 11 students.
The aim for the session was to provide soon-to-be school leavers with information and guidance on a range of employability skills and advice for the world of work. Students worked with volunteers throughout the day on a range of topics including, ‘how to write a good CV’, ‘how to prepare for an interview’, ‘making a good first impression’ and ‘best practice for competing application forms and personal statements’.
Morpeth School get down to Business
19 November 2014
Crossrail's Head of Employee Relations and Young Crossrail ambassador, Andrew Eldred, assisted a group of Business and Economics students with their BTEC project assignment.
As part of their studies, students from Morpeth School have used Crossrail as a case study. The students were particularly interested in learning more about the Social, Ecenomic and Political factors involved on a project like Crossrail and what Crossrail are doing to leave a legacy as Europe's largest engineering project. Students asked lots of questions and were pleased that they had the opportunity to gain insight into the impacts on such a project.
Inspiring the next generation at Skills Exhibitions
13 - 22 November 2014
The Young Crossrail team engaged with over 4,000 students, teachers and parents at two major careers fairs in November – the Skills Show in Birmingham and Skills London at the ExCel.
A big draw to the Crossrail stand was the chance to pose for a ‘stick-your-head-through-the-hole’ photo opportunity. But instead of the usual life guards and other seaside characters, the picture was a Crossrail tunnel engineer with the simple question: ”Who is an engineer?”. And if the visitors were in any doubt about the answer, they also had the chance to learn about some real life engineering case studies and our apprenticeship opportunities.
Other attractions included an interactive game with robots, where students used remote controls to build a Crossrail station, and a giant jigsaw puzzle of the Crossrail timeline.
Sally Speed, Young Crossrail Programme Manager said: “We had fantastic support on the stand from our Young Crossrail ambassadors, including many of our graduates. A big thank you to everyone who supported us.”
Aleem Qureshi, Graduate Engineer: “I really had a great time out at the NEC. It was a great opportunity be on the other side of the table. It wasn't so long ago I was wandering around stalls looking for opportunities and so I knew what the students wanted to hear and the burning questions they had, but didn't know how to ask or whether to ask it. I felt that the students had a real passion for the engineering field and that Crossrail really gave them an eye opener. The future of engineers looks hopeful!”
Joseph Kanu, Graduate Engineer: “Seeing those vacillating teens brought back memories of my younger self and my desire to be an engineer. We received lots of questions and had so much explaining to do, but thanks to the BBC documentary ‘The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway’ these young engineering aspirants have an idea of what we are trying to achieve here at Crossrail.”
5 November 2014
To mark tomorrow’s Engineers week the Young Crossrail team, accompanied by volunteers from across the project got involved in a number of activities and events aimed to inspire young people into Engineering careers.
To kick start the week, Young Crossrail and representatives from TfL and the London Transport Museum held a teacher Continuous Professional Development (CPD) session at the London Transport Museum. Teachers from across London were invited to find out more about careers and career pathways into our industry. Steve Hails, Health and Safety Director and graduate engineer Archie Heaton-Renshaw were panelists alongside TfL apprentices and graduates and answered questions from the floor. The panel was followed by an opportunity for teachers to network with transport and infrastructure organisations and universities.
A group of young people interested in pursuing careers in engineering from Young Crossrail partner schools visited Crossrail Head Office for a session focused on providing an overview on the Crossrail project and busting misconceptions on who engineers are and what engineers do. Students enjoyed the interactive “who is an engineer?” game and finding out about Talent and Resources Director, Valerie Todd’s early career. Students were then given a tour of the Crossrail Canary Wharf site to conclude the event.
Shenfield High School learn about Crossrail
24 October 2014
Four Young Crossrail volunteers visited students at Shenfield High School to talk about the latest developments on the project and encourage students to build their own structures using limited resources.
Students asked lots of questions about how Crossrail will affect their local area Shenfield once the Crossrail service begins. Engineers spoke about the fleet of new, air-conditioned, 205 metre long trains which will be introduced between Shenfield and Liverpool Street from 2017.
Students learnt about different types of engineers and were shown examples of other big transport and infrastructure projects. In classrooms, students got stuck into practical tasks, such as building their own towers, using spaghetti and marshmallows.
Some students used logic to complete a project management task using different coloured Lego bricks. The aim of the activity was to complete a number of tasks in the least number of days. The session also featured in the Brentwood Gazette with staff at the school hailing the day a success.
Carole Herman, Headteacher, said: "The students who have been part of the groups today are all students who have an interest in Engineering, so it has been particularly exciting to have engineers here of high calibre who have worked on actual projects".
Getting creative at St. Mary’s School
30 September 2014
Young Crossrail supported an event hosted by our Western Tunnels contract, Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial and Kier Joint Venture, for year six students at St. Mary’s Primary School.
The session consisted of two short talks delivered by Richard Gethin, Community Liaison Manager and Fiona Radford and Jonathan Valdez, engineers working at Royal Oak. The talks informed students about the Crossrail project and explained the works that are happening near the school. Students were then divided into small groups to work on different construction based tasks including building cranes with Meccano and competing to build the strongest spaghetti and marshmallow tower.
All students then had the opportunity to design, draw and name a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), with all entries being entered into a competition to name a mini-TBM which will be used for the Green Lane sewer works being undertaken by BFK and Barhale. The winning entry came from a year 4 student at the school who chose the name "Big Bertha" for the mini-TBM.