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High Tunstall College of Science, Hartlepool

About the activity

On 20th March I took 22 Y9 girls to Hartlepool College of Further Education for a NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) event. This was the second event we have attended at HCFE. This is a yearly event run specifically to inspire and encourage girls into construction in the Built Environment. It is a half day event, of which consists of a number of activities.

9.00am Introduction: During this we each delivered a two-minute presentation of who we are and what we do in construction. We used a slideshow for our two minutes in a Pecha Kucha style, so we had six slides each, which changed at 20-second intervals. This kept it fast-flowing and meant the pupils didn’t get bored.

9.45am – Activity Design and build challenge.

Time allowed 100 mins: Five-minute introduction. 65-minute challenge. 25-minute presentation from teams on the structure of the plan. Five minutes to vote for the winner.

The objective of the challenge was to design and build a structure from Lego, calculating the cost of the build and produce an outline design.  It must be a school or college and the design has to be:

  • Sustainable
  • Eco friendly
  • Have at least one fun room
  • Built from any material (Lego just for a model of the design)
  • Any shape
  • Energy efficient
  • Have open spaces
  • Budget of £5,000 using costing for Lego parts provided.

The team was divided into designers, architects, finance, and project manager.

Gatsby Benchmarks

Gatsby Benchmark 3 – dispelling stereotypes. Addressing the needs of the students – STEM subjects.

Gatsby Benchmark 2 – LMI was covered regarding the build industry in this area and world wide

Gatsby Benchmark 4 – linking design & technology with the world of work

Gatsby Benchmark 5 – encounters with employers/employees and benchmark 7 – encounters with further education

Next steps

The girls were really interested (especially when they talked about their salaries). Many of them said they had never thought of this type of work but were considering it now.

The women attending were really impressed with the standard of work produced by the students and how most of them had presented their project to the room.

One of our school teams won the competition, which obviously helped with the enjoyment.