Studio school gets learners on the right track

22 February 2017

Pupils at a Mansfield school have been putting their engineering skills to the test, in preparation for attending an event which is dubbed the rail industry’s highlight of the year.

iRail 2017 is an event which both showcases the rail industry and also demonstrates the science and engineering career opportunities in this sector.

Before the half-term break pupils from Vision Studio School on Chesterfield Road, Mansfield, were introduced to the plan for the iRail day which takes place this year on 14 March at Pride Park Stadium.  

Jill Holland, who works for Learn by Design, the outreach company which brings regional schools together at this event, visited the studio school to outline the benefits of iRail.

Jill spoke to learners on the OCR Cambridge National Engineering Design course about the benefits they could get from attending iRail, which caters for pupils from schools in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

She explained the plan of the day which includes a visit to train makers – Bombardier – followed by a careers fair which will details the range of science and engineering career opportunities available in this growing area.

Throughout the day, pupils will be expected to undertake a fact finding mission, ready for a challenge which is being set on the day. Working in groups, the challenge will be presented to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel giving them the chance to win a cash prize for their school.

During Jill’s visit to Vision Studio School, she staged a small challenge for the class, to plan and design a mobile phone app, suited to the rail industry.

The class split into small groups to plan and design their own app. Horens Ziverts, 14, (pictured far right) came up with an app called Railography with his class mates.

Horens said: “The app which we thought of would be to help geologists and those who create railways to see what environmental impact the tracks may have on the area they plan to run the rail through. It would assess the ecosystem and wildlife and see how they would be affected by the infrastructure.

“Jill’s talk has really expanded my knowledge on the kinds of careers which are available in the rail industry.”

Tutor Rebecca Unwin said: “The iRail event will be a very insightful and interesting day to attend. Over the next week I will be judging the results of the class’ project today and the winning group will be signed up to attend iRail in March.

“I was most impressed with all of their ideas which has shown their creative flair and interest in Jill’s session.”