20th Sep, 2018

How Parkway station project has inspired future engineers

Rob George 11th Jul, 2018

YOUNGSTERS from St Barnabas CE First and Middle School in Drakes Broughton became engineers for the day by looking at the challenges posed in building a new railway station to serve the county.

Year 7 youngsters have been learning about what it takes to design and build the new Worcestershire Parkway Station.

Worcestershire County Council and the SLC Rail engineering director Samantha Uren first visited the school last autumn to talk to pupils about civil engineering and other professions involved in the construction industry.

With Worcestershire Parkway Station on their doorstep, it was the perfect opportunity to talk to pupils about engineering in action. More recently, pupils also enjoyed a visit to the site where, their classroom learning was brought to life on a real life construction site.

Teacher Maria Leach said: “As part of a Year 7 geography project, I wanted to not only help my pupils to really grasp what engineering was all about but also inspire our oldest pupils about their future potential career.

“With Worcestershire Parkway so close to the school, and familiar to most of the pupils, this project gave us a great opportunity to learn lots about geography, engineering and even managing budgets when planning and building such a big scheme.

“The pupils were particularly interested in the ecological side and everything that happens to try and reduce the impact to the local environment. The team have done a great job of engaging with the students in a really innovative way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of the class follows a similar career route!’

Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for Economy and Infrastructure, Dr Ken Pollock, said “As this scheme is so important for the county, it’s great that we have been able to involve, and had such a positive response from, a local school.

“Their enthusiasm for the project, especially the sustainability side of what we do, is really encouraging as this is vital in keeping the county’s environment as one of its key features. We’re looking forward to welcoming the pupils back next year when the station is complete”.

The pupils were asked to develop a design for the new station near Norton based on the genuine constraints faced with the design and delivery of the project.

These included the best location for a station at the intersection of two railway lines, what facilities were required for the passengers, including those with disabilities, and ecological considerations such as bats and reptiles.

Each group of pupils then presented their design to the other groups, teachers and SLC staff.

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