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Crossrail launches construction challenge for Gifted & Talented students

By Philippa Siguencia Winnings

Crossrail has launched its third curriculum programme for 'gifted and talented students' at schools along the new railway route as part of its Young Crossrail Education Programme.

Teams of students from six secondary schools have been set the challenge of preparing a strategy for the construction phase of a hypothetical new railway to be built between London and Cambridge.

Over the course of six workshops taking place at London South Bank University the students will consider station design, environmental mitigation, cost planning, programme planning and community relations, led by Crossrail's own experts. The first event took place on 27 February and the students will present their final strategies in a presentation on 16 May at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Douglas Oakervee, Crossrail Executive Chairman said: 'The Young Crossrail Education programme is leading the way in providing students with real life business challenges. By working closely with and learning from leading experts including architects, curators, engineers and environmental planners this programme offers students valuable experience and insight into possible careers in the built environment.'

Following the curriculum programme London South Bank University will be providing a short course about professional careers in Construction and Engineering and routes into them through higher education for those students interested in finding out more about the sector.

John Hampson, the University's Business Development Manager for Construction said: 'We are delighted to be supporting this project which demonstrates such a creative education challenge. Partnerships between educational establishments and businesses are increasingly important in providing students with real world experience on which to base crucial career decisions. They are also helping to increase the numbers of students taking up courses in the built environment.'

Gifted & Talented is a government-backed initiative that supports gifted and talented students and their teachers, and in particular, under-achieving and disadvantaged students.

The Gifted and Talented curriculum course series is part of Crossrail's ongoing education programme, which has been working with young people and communities living along the proposed route of the Crossrail line since 2003. The activities are designed to make young people aware of the issues involved in large infrastructure projects and to support student's National Curriculum studies and teacher's delivery of Government initiatives such as Gifted and Talented projects and the Literacy Strategy.

Young Crossrail also has its own regular newsletter, The Link. Following the recent announcement of the funding package for Crossrail a special, larger edition containing a section on the main features of the railway for young people to cut out and keep has just been distributed to all the schools within a mile radius of the proposed railway route.

It also features our recent awards ceremony, news about the project and reports of activities in some of the schools along the proposed route.

A download of the newsletter is available in the Young Crossrail section of www.crossrail.co.uk

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