Mabey Hire launches STEM Education Programme to inspire next generation of engineers in UK

First of its kind programme enables children aged 10-13 to experience fundamental civil engineering principles in a fun and engaging way in afterschool clubs using LEGO® Education materials

95% of children said they would consider a career in engineering following pilot course

Mabey Hire has today announced the launch of its STEM Education Programme in the UK. The immersive 16-week course, thought to be one of the UK’s first civil engineering focused programmes that uses LEGO® Education materials, has been developed by Mabey Hire to inspire young children to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and consider careers in civil engineering.

Aimed at school children aged 10-13, the programme helps students improve their awareness and perceptions of the engineering and construction sectors, by giving them the opportunity to learn basic engineering principles in a hands-on, fun and engaging way. The tasks cover mathematical challenges and nine different engineering activities including beam balance, freewheeler, power car, gear racer, tower crane, robot arm, scissor lift, watch tower and bridge. To consolidate the learning, Mabey Hire has created a bespoke ‘mission mat’ – a visual learning tool which encourages students to apply learning and problem solving to achieve an end goal.

To connect with the digital world and embrace the future of technology in construction, students will also engage in the programme through Virtual Reality (VR), where some of the world’s most iconic structures – for example the Sydney Opera House or Eifel Tower – will be represented in LEGO® VR worlds. Through VR headsets, students will engage with and explore the structures while learning the statistics and facts that have contributed to their construction.

The programme was created by Mabey Hire’s Engineering Director Dave Holland and Digital Engineer Andrew Gascoine. A successful pilot programme, which was run to coincide with the Year of Engineering in 2018, had fantastic results, with 95% of children saying they would consider a career in engineering after they had taken part in the programme.

Andy Snape, Curriculum Projects Manager, LEGO® Education Innovation Studio, comments: “This programme is testament to the determination of Mabey Hire’s engineers to promote the creative, practical and innovative career opportunities STEM subjects bring. By using applied learning techniques and digital tools like VR which show where the exciting future of civil engineering is heading, programmes like this are just what the industry needs to encourage young people to see a future in engineering.”

Gordon MacDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Mabey Hire adds: “One of Mabey Hire’s key strengths is its engineering expertise and we know how varied, fascinating and rewarding a career in engineering can be. With 1.8 million engineers needed in the UK by 2025, we take our responsibility for encouraging the next generation of engineers seriously, which is why we have built this programme to inspire and engage children to consider a career in engineering, no matter what their current understanding of the subject is.”

Mabey Hire is now running the full programme to children across three schools in Manchester, Glasgow and Wigan, which are located close to some of Mabey’s largest depots. The programme has also been packaged so that it can be readily deployed by other key players in the engineering supply chain, in order to help reach more children. Leading principal contractor Morgan Sindall Infrastructure is the first in the industry to roll out the Mabey STEM Education Programme to its own school contacts, starting with Northlands Primary School, located near the company’s head office in Rugby.

Alison Chippington, Highways Head of Work Winning at Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, said: “It was in conversation with our supplier Mabey at our Group Supply Chain best practice event earlier this year that we first heard about this innovative education scheme. Seeing the potential, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure has been delighted to support the scheme in its first pilot in the industry – we are committed to inspiring the workforce of the future and addressing the industry’s skill shortage and this programme does just that.”
For more information on the Mabey STEM Education Programme, including testimonials, photographs and videos from the pilot programme, please visit:
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