Research organisation BSRIA hosted a group of year 9 and 10 students for a taster day of working in STEM.

This was to help promote EDT’s Routes into STEM scheme, which gives students STEM career experience after their GCSE’s. The students from schools in Reading visited BSRIA for a three-day course.

The students went to BSRIA’s test facilities, where Colin Pearson, Head of Building Performance and Building Thermography Technical Expert at the Sustainable Construction Group, BSRIA, introduced them to thermography, then helped them conduct an experiment. The students then conducted further engineering experiments at BSRIA’s laboratories.

Julia Evans, Chief Executive at BSRIA, awarded all of the students with an Industrial Cadets ‘bronze’ certificate after they completed the course.

The scheme is Industrial Cadets accredited, and connects young people, partners and employers to give students experience in science, technology, engineering and maths careers.

EDT is an educational charity with over 30 years’ experience, delivering more than 40,000 STEM taster days a year. The day involves activities at a college, then a university, and then a company.

Pearson said: “We were really impressed with the enthusiasm and capability of the group. It tells us that the young engineering talent is out there and it is up to the industry and organisations like BSRIA to attract them into one of the many fulfilling careers we can offer.

“That’s 24 young people (and their parents) that didn’t know what building services engineering was and hadn’t heard of BSRIA, but now have! Hopefully, we’ll see one or two of them in the future, be it with us or one of our members.

“Indeed: in the UK, now and in the future, we need more young people to be aware of the careers available to them in STEM industries, such as construction and engineering, which can lead to exciting careers.

“This activity also fits in well with BSRIA’s INSPIRE project which works with local schools, national and local politicians and the media to promote STEM and change its perceptions. Industry recruitment and succession planning is crucial – the INSPIRE project will address this.”

Steve Ross, Routes into STEM Coordinator, said: “We were delighted with the student engagement during the day and a huge thank you to BSRIA for making this possible. The enthusiasm of all the activity leaders was infectious and showed off the rewarding and diverse career possibilities to students, when they study STEM subjects at school.”