Inspiring The Next Generation
23 October 2015
Two Costain members of the eight2O team (Thames Water’s industry-leading alliance that includes Costain) are helping to inspire Britain’s next generation of engineers and scientists.
George Hilliar, Training Manager, and Ali Thomas, Environmental Adviser, are both volunteers on the Go4SET project now underway at schools in Reading, where eight2O is based. Funded by Mastercard, the 10-week project asks Year 8 and 9 students to look at the current technologies used to manage money, and think about new technologies that could change the way we spend, save and track money in the future. The aim is to show young people how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) can be applied to real life and encourage them to think about STEM related careers.
“Our role is to each mentor a team of six students,” said George, also a STEM Ambassador, who is working with pupils at John Madejski Academy. “We visit them at their school to advise and guide them through the project. The students get a lot out of it: they gain project management experience and also learn skills such as team working and how to write reports. At the end of the 10 weeks the project culminates in a Celebration and Assessment Day, when each team hands in a written report, delivers a presentation and puts together an exhibition stand to display their work. The project assessors then choose an overall winner.”
For Ali, who joined Costain in August, this is her first experience of a STEM project. “I’m working with pupils at The Bulmershe School and really enjoying it. My group are very enthusiastic and it’s great to be able to teach them simple project management skills such as team work, time management, setting deadlines and prioritising tasks. I’m also keen to encourage them to pursue work experience opportunities in their areas of career interest and to show them that there are lots of different routes into a STEM career. Working for a company like Costain doesn’t necessarily mean going to university and doing a degree - there are plenty of other career pathways like internships and apprenticeships to consider and I believe this is a really important message to promote to our younger generation.”
Costain Communications Department