STEM mentors HCC

26 June 2017

Opus International Consultants’ (Opus) involvement in STEM continues with pace, with an initiative with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) helping a group of A-Level students achieve The British Science Associations’ Gold Crest Award. The work supports our overarching aim to engage young people with engineering and its wider opportunities.

HCC has introduced a ‘Whole Client Service’ (WCS) model for the delivery of its highways service.  The WCS sees the Council and the Opus Arup JV working together as a single, integrated entity.

This particular initiative has seen Tom Lambert (Assistant Bridge Engineer) and Fortunate Gumbochuma (Engineering Assistant) spend the last 6 months working as mentors with St. Albans Girls School, as part of the Engineering Education Scheme coordinated by EDT, supported by STEM and Set Point.

The Opus mentors were able to set the students a brief, which in this case involved regenerating the train station in Stevenage, to improve and encourage sustainable transport and reduce carbon emissions.

Receiving dedicated time and support to develop their ideas with the mentors, the students also had the chance to present their proposals to a panel of engineers at Hertfordshire County Council, ahead of their assessment day at Glaxo Smith-Kline in Ware.

The students were able to think innovatively and designed a new bus stop which included integrated GPS tracking on buses and interactive mapping, to allow passengers to plan their journeys with confidence. Wall gardens, solar roads and energy generating floor panels also featured within their designs, to create more renewable energy and improve the public’s engagement with these developing technologies.

The efforts of the students have clearly paid off, with the award which is recognised by universities across the UK, standing them in good stead as they take steps towards their future careers.

“The students have all gained vital skills through their participation in the scheme and are grateful for the opportunity to acquire some "real-world" engineering experience.” Jackie Curl, Science Teacher at St. Albans Girls' School.