St Thomas Aquinas’ first STEM Speed Networking event is wonderfully engineered!

Issued: Tue, 10 Mar 2015 15:36:00 GMT

As many schools are now becoming more and more aware how essential it is to capture the imagination of young people in relation to envisioning their future career, St Thomas Aquinas RC Secondary School in Jordanhill, Glasgow this month decided for the first time to harness the potential of STEM Speed Networking within their school.

The event was co-ordinated by their Acting Principal Teacher of Design and Technology, Ashley Kelly who organised seven STEM Ambassadors from a range of backgrounds to present, discuss and answer any questions from the S1 year group. Miss Kelly stated that “…first year pupils often find it difficult to identify the link between subjects and skill areas… these types of events help them make connections they might not otherwise make. This event adds breadth to their curriculum.”

This particular STEM Speed Networking event showcased the occupations of seven Ambassadors from industry to 160 S1 pupils; across 2 morning sessions, as they rotated in groups and were given 10 minutes with each Ambassador.

Construction Ambassadors Chris Morrison and Ronan Lafferty from Laing O’Rourke gave a spirited talk which touched on transferable core skills that pupils use every day. They highlighted areas such as planning and teamwork and explained why these skills are vital within the construction industry. Chris Morrison, a 19 year stalwart of Construction Management, encouraged the first years by suggesting that “if you apply what you think you might be good at and what you enjoy to what you do, you won’t go far wrong”.

Similarly, Megan Guy, a young civil engineer from Atkins spoke about how design and infrastructure affects our lives and which she deftly illustrated aided by images of the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. She took questions from the pupils and explained the possible job opportunities within engineering; highlighting the surprising fact that in the UK only 7% of engineers are women.

Though in the past, 11 or 12 years of age might have been considered too young for kids to consider career choices, Ashley Kelly believes that the quicker they are naturalised to the topic, the less daunting it will appear as they progress to making subject choices in the future. Yet, she is also highly aware that this is merely the beginning, maintaining “…this event’s rationale is to highlight skills development by promoting the connections across and within curricular areas…this is only the first step for our pupils.”

If you would like to organise a STEM Speed Networking event in your school please contact Science Connects.


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