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Young Crossrail news for Academic Year 2013-14

As well as supporting our six partner schools, Young Crossrail also support, where possible, other schools close to the route. Find out about some of our engagement activities from the 2013-14 academic year below.

Teach First conference

Thursday 31 July 2014

The Young Crossrail team attended the Teach First Exhibition held in Leeds where over 1,200 teachers returning for their second year on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme attended along with fifty other organisations from a range of different sectors.

The main aim of the event was to provide participants with information about careers available on a project like Crossrail and to explain the various routes into the construction and engineering industries for students across all abilities. Nearly five hundred of the attendees were teachers from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) backgrounds so we were keen to speak with these teachers in particular to explain how engineering can be brought to life in the classroom. Throughout the day, participants played the “who is an engineer” game where misconceptions around who engineers are were addressed in an interactive and engaging way, with many of the teachers commenting that they would use something similar with their students back in the classroom.

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Partner schools work experience

Wednesday 23 July 2014

As part of the corporate work experience scheme, twenty students from four Young Crossrail partner schools have now completed placements at Crossrail. A further assessment centre was held on 23rd July for Greenwich UTC students, five of whom will be starting their placements in September.

The Young Crossrail team, supported by hosts from across the project have delivered assessment sessions to select the most engaged students and match them to suitable hosts based on the students interests and career aspirations. Feedback from hosts and students has been positive, and encouragingly many of the students have stated that through completing work experience at Crossrail, their perceptions of engineering has changed. Of the feedback received, students on average rated their overall experience 4.8/5.

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Monday 21 July 2014

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Young Crossrail continue to support the Newham Education Business Partnership (NEBP) by sourcing volunteers to assist with BOSS days.

BOSS Days aim to improve student knowledge of the job application process by asking students to undertake a series of activities facilitated by a volunteer in a classroom environment, including making job applications using a job description, preparing and taking part in mock interviews and finding out about the world of work.

Young Crossrail have supported the following schools during the academic year 2013/14: Sarah Bonnell, Rokeby (Young Crossrail partner school), Brampton Manor Academy, Cumberland and St. Bonaventures.

Young Crossrail will continue to support NEBP from September 2014.

Teacher Placements at Crossrail

Monday 7 July 2014

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Crossrail hosted a two-week pilot for a new teacher placement scheme run 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. The main aims of the scheme are to give a better understanding about diversity and the vast array of career opportunities in engineering and construction which they will be able to relate back to students in the classroom.

Crossrail hosted three teachers, one each from All Saint’s Catholic School, St. Paul's Way Trust School and Royal Greenwich University Technical College (a Young Crossrail partner school). During the two weeks, the teachers met with colleagues across the project and also visited the London Transport Museum, TUCA (Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy) and the Canary Wharf site. Feedback from teachers has been excellent and they are already thinking about how they can incorporate what they have learnt into their schemes of work and project-based learning and further embedding STEM across the curriculum.

Rokeby Careers Insight Day

Friday 11 July 2014

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Students from Young Crossrail partner school, Rokeby in Newham, visited Crossrail head office for a careers insight day.

The eight students who attended had all expressed an interest in finding out more about engineering. The students met Ali Shad, an engineer on the project and Young Crossrail ambassador who spoke about his route into engineering and career to date. The students then worked in small teams to design and build a brand new station using only cocktail sticks, paper and blu tak!  All of the students rated the session as ‘excellent’, said that they learnt more about engineering and that it had changed their perceptions about engineers and engineering.

STEM in the City

Friday 27 June 2014

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Young Crossrail and volunteers from the Liverpool Street station took part in the first ‘STEM in the City’ careers fair sponsored by the Science Council and the City of London at Guildhall. Over 500 Year 9 students and their teachers from schools in the City and neighbouring boroughs attended the event, which was designed to showcase the wide range of career pathways available with studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf spoke to students and teachers about the importance of addressing the gender imbalance in STEM subjects after GCSE and ensuring that employers and organisations promote technical career choices to attract more young female students.

The Crossrail stand provided information about the project, as well about pathways into engineering. Particularly popular was the “Who is an engineer?” game which challenged preconceptions about engineers. Evan Reilly, a summer intern who volunteered on the stand said: “As a current engineering student and an aspiring civil engineer, it was an excellent opportunity to meet younger students who were enthusiastic about exploring their career options in the industry."

City of London have produced a short video clip of the day. Click here to view.

Newham Junior Citizens Scheme

Monday 23 June 2014

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Young Crossrail has once again worked with the Metropolitan Police as part of the three-week Newham Junior Citizens Scheme. The event ran during June and July and saw Young Crossrail ambassadors present a ten-minute cycle safety scenario alongside sessions from the MET Police, London Fire Brigade and RNLI.

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 cycling near HGVs through the use of a mock-up lorry and webcam.

Health and Safety Director Steve Hails, who visited the event said: “It’s great that Crossrail are working in partnership with the MET police to deliver safety messages to children as, cycle safety is an important issue for us. It was fantastic to see how engaged the children were with Crossrail and the other interactive sessions”.

Young female engineers in the making visit Crossrail

Monday 23rd June 2014

Crossrail celebrate the first National Women in Engineering Day

Thirty girls joined our leading engineers at the new Canary Wharf station to mark National Women in Engineering Day and gain first-hand experience of an engineering project.

Crossrail recently hosted the Engineer Your Future challenge in conjunction with MyKindaCrowd where young people aged 16-19 were tasked with developing innovative ways to attract girls to engineering.

The girls were shortlisted from over seventy competition entrants to attend the winners’ day at Crossrail's Head Office where they took part in a special programme of events including training, speed networking and a visit to the Canary Wharf site. The five overall winners will also receive mentoring support for a year from a group of Crossrail engineers.

More than seventy students entered the competition, expressing their views on the barriers that exist for young women to enter the industry. These included perceptions that it was a “man’s job”, family objections and discrimination. The entrants also said that integrating engineering into popular culture through TV shows, celebrity endorsement, media campaigns and promoting female role models would help raise the profile of engineering as a career for women.

The competition generated some excellent media coverage to spread the message further, including pieces on the BBC website, Telegraph and an article written by Nisrine Chartouny (Farringdon Site Project Manager) Huffington Post.

Did you know?

Just 8.5% of engineers in the UK are women, the lowest representation of any European country. The UK needs to double the number of engineering graduates to 90,000 per year to meet the 1 million job openings by 2020.

Young Crossrail actively encourages young men and women to pursue a career in engineering by working with more than 100 schools and engaging more than 10,000 students and teachers in the past year. 20% of Crossrail graduates are women.

The barriers to engineering for women start in school with one in two state schools (49%) not sending a single female student to study A-level maths or sciences.

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Young people name TBMs

Wednesday 14th May 2014

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Young Crossrail supported colleagues from BFK (Bam Ferrovial Kier Joint Venture) at Canada Blanch School as part of their Science Week initiative.

Year three and four students from the school were given a talk about the Crossrail project followed by a hands-on activity. During the session children were asked to enter a competition to draw and name a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). A brand new mini TBM which is being used at Green Lane Sewer as part of the Thames Tunnel improvements, was named as a result of the competition with judges choosing year four student, Issy Sanchez Griffin's TBM masterpiece as the winner. Issy chose to call the TBM Molley, as "it looks like a mole" digging underground.

The children that submitted the best drawings were invited to the launch of the new mini TBM on 2nd June and the best entries will be displayed on the hoardings around the site.

Go4set Celebration and Assessment Day

Monday 2 May 2014

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Three of Young Crossrail’s partner schools, Westminster Academy, Rokeby and Royal Greenwich University Technical College came together in a celebration and assessment day for a project they have been working on for 10 weeks. The environment and sustainability themed project, developed by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), challenged students to think about how they could make their own school more energy efficient.

Chris Sexton, Crossrail's Technical Director, joined us for part of the day, where he spoke to the individual teams about their projects and how they over came problems during the challenge.

Royal Greenwich UTC won the overall prize for their ideas on reusing waste water from the school and 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.

Since the competition, Westminster Academy have actually implemented the students' ideas for energy saving by installing solar film on the windows in warmer areas of the school building. Teachers from the school are delighted that there has been a noticeable improvement in heating and ventilation since the change. Matt Fox from the EDT said: "It's great to see a real world impact come from Westminster Academy as a result of the project."

Support for Scout’s St George celebration

Sunday 27 April 2014

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Young Crossrail and the C310 Thames Tunnel project teams joined together to support local Scouts in Royal Greenwich to celebrate St George’s Day. They developed a programme of transport-themed activities for a special fair attended by 15 district Scout groups incorporating activates as diverse as making paper planes to racing a Scalextric grand prix.

The event took place  at the Royal Greenwich District Scouts campus in New Eltham and the HMJV (Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture) team provided a lorry and two drivers to raise awareness of dangers and risks on the roads to pedestrians and cyclists. The Scouts (aged from 5-25) were able to explore the vehicles and to experience what a driver can and more importantly, can’t see.

Young Crossrail hosts teacher study visit

Friday 28 March 2014

Young Crossrail, the Science Learning Centre and the London Transport Museum recently co-ran a CPD session for teachers. The aim of the day was to provide teachers with more information about Crossrail and how engineering ideas seen on Crossrail can be taught back in the classroom.

Ben Ford and Steven Olajide, both graduate engineers, kicked off by giving an informative and engaging presentation on the works at the Crossrail Paddington site where they both work. Ben and Steven highlighted their personal career paths into engineering, something the teachers said they lacked knowledge of. Georgia Giardina, from the University of Cambridge, was on hand to provide a link between the academic and practical application of engineering.

After a speed networking session with TfL ambassadors, the group were treated to a site tour of Paddington, hosted again by Ben and Steven, who were on hand to answer questions about the site.

Feedback from the day has been hugely positive with many teachers saying that the most valuable part was being able to speak with newly qualified engineers on the project and learning about the different pathways into engineering. All who attended would recommend the session to their colleagues.

WPI students create educational resources

Monday 17 March 2014

As part of their undergraduate studies, four engineering students from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the United States spent seven weeks in industry working with the Young Crossrail team, teachers, ambassadors and other Crossrail colleagues and contractors to develop a suite of educational resources which can be used by Young Crossrail volunteers.

The main brief was that the resources should focus on bringing key engineering aspects of the Crossrail project to life in engaging and relevant ways. Another objective was that resources should include practical or hands-on activities that are relevant to the curriculum and are appropriate to KS (Key Stage) learning outcomes. Finally, students were advised that the objects and equipment required during the running of the activities need to be safe for classroom use and easily transportable.

The students produced four excellent activities predominantly aimed at Secondary School students (KS 3/4) but all have the flexibility to adapt to a younger audience. These included a project management task whereby students are challenged to think logically about the process and chronological order of certain tasks needed on a construction or engineering project. Another of the resources focused on engineering principles in station design and challenges students to build a station using only paper, cocktail sticks and jelly babies.

The Young Crossrail team have already used the resources at a number of school events and work experience assessment sessions and they have worked well with students finding them challenging and enjoyable.

Young Crossrail celebrate National Science and Engineering week

Saturday 15 March - Monday 24 March 2014

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To celebrate National Science and Engineering week (15th-24th March), Young Crossrail ran a range of inspiring and hands-on activities to encourage the next generation with a particular focus on girls.

On 15th March the Young Crossrail team delivered an interactive engineering activity at the London Metropolitan Archives as part of their “Engineering in the Archives” event.  Sixty students had to plan a new railway route, design a train and create a new brand. The feedback from the students was fantastic with all of them rating it as good or excellent and saying they would recommend it to their friends.

On 16th March, five volunteers from across the project including Nisrine Chartouny, Project Manager at Farringdon station gave a talk to over 200 students at the Engineering and Architecture Conference hosted by the Girls School Day Trust. The students heard about the Crossrail project and the different types of engineering careers. One student said “the talk was really informative and gave me a much broader understanding about a variety of engineering careers”.

On 18th March Young Crossrail led sessions at two partner schools, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) in Islington and Swanlea School in Tower Hamlets. Linda Miller, Project Manager at Connaught Tunnel, visited Swanlea School as part of their “Aspirations Day” for girls, which aimed to raise the aspirations of Year 9 girls within the school. Linda took part in a speed networking session about her career journey and highlights as well as advising on the routes into a career in Engineering.

Heather McPherson and Lani Tan visited EGA to deliver an engineering careers master class to year 8 and 9 students. They spoke about their careers which have taken them all over the world. Paul McIntyre, Assistant Head, expressed his thanks saying how important it is for “Crossrail to promote their industry and show young women where their education and skills could take them.”

Enabling Enterprise - Building Bridges

Tuesday 11 March 2014

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Twenty year five and six students from East Acton Primary School visited Crossrail Head Office for a challenge day delivered by Enabling Enterprise.

The day began when volunteers from across the project were quizzed by the children about their job including questions like “what did you want to be when you were my age?” and “what do you enjoy the most about your job?”. Volunteers then worked with a team of students to help them plan, design and build a bridge. The students had the chance to buy, sell and trade their resources, including newspaper, sellotape and colouring pencils, with other teams in an effort to build their bridge as they had designed earlier on in the session. The judges crowned 'Country Crossrail' as the winning team for their group presentation, their team work and their fantastic bridge which even featured a tourist view point and used recyclable materials!

Tobi, a student from East Acton Primary School, enjoyed the day so much he helped colleagues at Enabling Enterprise with the session write up. To read Tobi's story, click here.

Young Crossrail have also hosted challenge days with students from St. Anne's Primary School, Tiverton Primary School and Curwen Primary School this academic year and continue to work closely with Enabling Enterprise from September 2014 onwards.

After school club fun

Tuesday 11th February

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Young Crossrail supported 18 children from the Sir John Soames Museum After-School Club with a site visit and hands on activity.

BFK* facilitated a site visit and gave the children an overview on the works happening near Tottenham Court Road. The children then visited the Visitors Information Centre at Tottenham Court Road and took part in designing and building a tower using only spaghetti and jelly babies. All four teams exceeded the challenge which was to build a structurally sound tower strong enough to bear weight.

* BFK -  Bam Nuttall Ferrovial Kier Joint Venture

Enabling Enterprise at Curwen Primary School

Thursday 6 February 2014

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As a part of our work with Enabling Enterprise, Crossrail's Rhian Locke, an Environmental Advisor, explained the importance of sustainability and the environment recently to Year 4 and 5 students at Curwen School in Newham.

The children heard about the different roles and skills needed on Crossrail and how we're looking to improve the future, and take care of the past. They learned the idea of sustainability and what Crossrail was doing with its excavated material at Wallasea Island, and how the energy used in the programme would be off-set by the reduction of car use in the future.

Pupils then created a timeline from prehistoric era to the present day and placed archaeological finds on it found during Crossrail's construction.

Newham Junior Citizens Scheme

Monday 27 January 2014

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Young Crossrail worked with the MET Police on a three-week long Newham Junior Citizens Scheme. The event ran from 27th January - 14th February and saw Young Crossrail Ambassadors present a 10-minute cycle safety scenario, ‘Be Safe, Be Seen’ around HGVs. The scenario was seen by 120 Newham Primary school children per day, meaning that we engaged with a total of 1,800 children overall.

Each team were scored on their teamwork, behaviour and most importantly on how much they could remember about what they had been taught throughout the day. Students from St. Helen’s Catholic Primary School were the overall winners of the competition and were visited during their morning assembly by representatives from the MET police, Crossrail and Tate and Lyle to be awarded with their Junior Citizens plaque which they display proudly in the school reception. Congratulations to all who took part, and particularly to St. Helen’s!

Options Day at Rokeby School

Thursday 23 January 2014

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Three Young Crossrail Ambassadors supported an ‘Options Day’ for year  9 students at Rokeby School, a Young Crossrail partner school in Newham.

The aim of the day was to raise awareness amongst students about the types of careers available to them in Engineering and Construction and to assist students with choosing their GCSE options. Colleagues Chris Pateman (Project Manager) and Grant Cowley (Site Manager) based at the Crossrail Bond Street site spoke about the routes they took into the industry and gave an overview on the current progress at Bond St. Yvonne Howard (Diversity Specialist) spoke about the importance of having a diverse workforce and the vast array of careers available on such a huge project.

Warren School Visit

Wednesday 22 January 2014

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Pupils from Warren School in Dagenham visited the C360 Mile End shaft site to learn about routes into construction. Many of the CSJV (Costain Skanska Joint Venture) staff who hosted the visit had only recently begun careers themselves.

Bob Noseda, Employment & Skills Coordinator at Barking and Dagenham College, brought the 16 and 17 year olds to hear valuable insights about apprenticeships, work experience, graduate programme opportunities and second careers.

Bob said: “Hearing the young CSJV team members speak about their careers has given me food for thought regarding the training we deliver and how we need to change.”

The site visit continues the relationship built between C360 and the college by Community Relations Manager Martin Griffiths, who will next attend the college for their Inspirations Day to mark the beginning of National Apprenticeships week in March. In April, Martin will deliver another lecture to students interested in a career in construction.

Martin added: “We wish to encourage, inspire and give students first-hand information about Civil Engineering. Between Barking and Dagenham College and C360, we're reducing the knowledge gap of what the industry needs from the next generation, and how national education providers must prepare young people properly for the world of work and all the potential opportunities ahead for them.”

Presenting Yourself Day at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School

Friday 10 January 2014

Young Crossrail’s partner school in Islington, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, hosted a “Presenting Yourself Day” for year 11 students.

Eight volunteers from across the project worked with groups of students on a range of careers-focused topics. Sessions included how to write CVs, covering letter and also practice application forms. The last part of the day focused on interview techniques with students each having a mock interview with the volunteers. The girls were really motivated and engaged, and the feedback from the students was excellent, with 99% saying they found the day useful or very useful and the responses from the volunteers were also very positive.

40 Worksites

Crossrail currently has over 40 worksites throughout London and the South East.