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Pupils take part in the SATRO Megastructures Challenge

Beard and SATRO help students develop STEM skills

Brookwood pupils take on construction challenge with a little help from the building professionals

Posted by Stephanie Broad | December 11, 2015 | People, policy, politics, money

Sixty year four and five pupils at Brookwood Primary School in Woking have risen to the challenge of designing and building their own mega-structures with a little expert guidance from the professionals at regional construction company Beard.

The pupils have been taking part in the SATRO Mega-Structure Construction Challenge. The learning initiative, organised by education charity SATRO and sponsored by Beard, helps youngsters develop science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills through hands-on project experience working with industry professionals. The initiative also aims to provide youngsters with a fun yet realistic experience of working in STEM related jobs and encourage more young people into STEM careers. 

“The children were divided into eight teams and then set the task of designing and building a stadium using a rolled-up piece of A4 recycled paper stuck together with masking tape to form a rod, which is the basis of the building material,” explains Beard Guildford director Guy Hannell. “The rods are flattened at each end and holes are punched. These are then connected together with small nuts and bolts.” 

Members of Beard’s professional construction team worked with pupils during the Challenge, giving advice and guidance on the design and construction of their structures. They also judged the groups’ completed structures.

Guy adds: “Challenges like this are a fantastic way of getting youngsters interested in construction and engineering careers. Not only do they bring them to life, they help pupils see how the maths, science and technology skills they are learning in the classroom are used to create some of the amazing buildings and structures we see around us. At a time when our sector faces its worst skills shortage, we need more of these events to attract young people into our industry, which offers so many fantastic career opportunities.

“We’ve really enjoyed working with SATRO to inspire children with a passion for science, technology and engineering in such a fun, interesting and creative way. We were really impressed with the model structures the groups created which made it very difficult to choose a winner for each of the two categories one for Innovation and the other for Design.”

Jo Green, headteacher at Brookwood Primary School, says: “I would like to thank you all for enabling this event at Brookwood.  Ofsted were present throughout the day and were incredibly positive about the learning which was taking place in the room. SATRO associate Peter’s coordination was impressive and, together with the team from Beard, brought the event to life.” 

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