Kinross High School among the first in UK to benefit from WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff’s new engagement programme with schools

kinrosshihg6WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is helping to deliver one of the first STEM programmes in schools in a bid to encourage more young people in Scotland to take up a career in science.

The global consultancy, which has worked on high-profile projects including the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, has sponsored a school in Perth and Kinross to take part in ‘Design Engineer Construct’, a programme which has been added to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Pupils at Kinross High School are amongst the first in the UK to take part in the project aimed at 11-18 year-olds, which teaches subjects related to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Industry experts from WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff visited the school on Thursday, 3 November and spoke to pupils about subjects related to engineering to show how diverse a career it can be.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff senior engineer Sarah Piscitelli, said: “We’re thrilled to be involved in delivering Design Engineer Construct to Kinross High School and hope to extend our sponsorship to another school next year.  Too many students are failing to choose STEM subjects as they go through school and there aren’t enough role models, especially females, to inspire them. When we spoke to young people about studying physics, maths and electronics some were turned off but when we mention overcoming challenges or solving problems it begins to appeal.   We were delighted with the reception from the girls and boys at Kinross, it was very positive and it was great to see their enthusiasm during the day. I believe the next generation of engineers have an important role to play in using their creative and team working skills to change perceptions of the industry. I’m also sure many of them will go on to become the industry leaders of the future.”

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff graduate and apprentice recruitment specialist Mel Clark said: “When we are able to link STEM subjects studied at school to real life careers and the exciting opportunities our industry is able offer we can see a change in students opinions of these subjects for the better. We are committed to proving exciting career opportunities for early career professionals and we hope to see some of the students from Kinross start their careers with us in the future.”

Design and Technology teacher Richard Smith at Kinross High School, who is leading the Design Engineer Construct programme, said: “The introduction of the Design Engineer Construct course is, I believe, the most exciting development the Scottish curriculum has seen for some time. As soon as the course was brought to my attention I knew it was something I whole heartedly wanted to become involved in.  The benefits to the pupils are enormous. I have always been a strong advocate of the curriculum addressing the needs of industry. The fact that this course offers such a close project-based working relationship with such prestigious industry partners as WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, with pupils applying pure academic subjects to the latest construction industry practices is fantastic.  The course offers an accredited learning programme for our students and produces young people with real-world practical experience and highly desirable employability skills.”

For more information about DEC, visit www.designengineerconstruct.com

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