DCSIMG

Discovering ways to regenerate their town

Front (l to r): Asta Puciute from Joseph Swan Academy; Tanja Smith, Gradon Architecture; Meg McGrady from Sacred Heart Catholic High School; Erin Richardson-Hogg, Rebecca Langley and Emma Gadsby from The Northumberland Church of England Academy; and Jack Raffle from Seaton Burn College.

Back (l to r): Stephen Eltringham and Debra Beattie, Bernicia; Jan Elliott, Owen Pugh; and John Nielson, chair of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and partner at civil engineering consultants CK21.

Picture by Ian McClelland.

Front (l to r): Asta Puciute from Joseph Swan Academy; Tanja Smith, Gradon Architecture; Meg McGrady from Sacred Heart Catholic High School; Erin Richardson-Hogg, Rebecca Langley and Emma Gadsby from The Northumberland Church of England Academy; and Jack Raffle from Seaton Burn College. Back (l to r): Stephen Eltringham and Debra Beattie, Bernicia; Jan Elliott, Owen Pugh; and John Nielson, chair of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and partner at civil engineering consultants CK21. Picture by Ian McClelland.

Students have been discovering what it is like to work in the construction sector as part of a competition to create a vision for their perfect town.

Nearly 100 Year 9 pupils from across the region took part in the Discovery Days, part of the ongoing Wonder Town Challenge, which saw them take part in a series of workshops involving representatives from the construction sector, including organisers the Owen Pugh Group and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

An event took place at The Northumberland Church of England Academy’s Josephine Butler campus in Ashington for competing schools.

Students heard about different aspects of the industry and took part in workshops on subjects including architectural design and modelling.

The challenge, now in its tenth year, involves school teams working together as mini construction companies to regenerate and build a Wonder Town, based on their own local town.

The Northumberland Church of England Academy team’s project was based around the transformation of the old Co-operative department store in Ashington into a function room.

Erin Richardson-Hogg, 15, said: “I never realised how many different careers there were in construction. There’s definitely something for everyone. Things seem to be changing in terms of the number of females in the industry in fact there are more females involved in the Wonder Town project at our school than there are males.

“We’re really enjoying our project and the Discovery Day has been really helpful, especially the architectural design workshop.”

Jan Elliott, CSR manager at Owen Pugh, said: “Owen Pugh is committed to working with local schools and colleges to help young people discover more about the variety of careers options on offer in construction and engineering.

“The Discovery Day, and the wider Wonder Town challenge, provide a valuable opportunity for students to work with industry experts and learn about different aspects of the industry first-hand.”

Pauline Vipond, regional education coordinator for the Institution of Civil Engineers North East (ICE NE), said: “Many young people in the region will have seen their own towns and communities redeveloped and this challenge will provide the opportunity for them to look at everything involved in this process.

“We hope that this challenge, and the Discovery Day, will help to ignite the imagination of the young people taking part in this project and that they will go on to become the engineers of the future.”

 

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