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Inspiring future engineers in Bristol, United Kingdom

December 08, 2021

Alex and Giorgia challenged students to design a hotel as part of work experience week

Alex Burford, graduate civil engineer and Giorgia Comana, graduate cleanwater modeler, from our Bristol office, recently visited St Bernadette’s Secondary School as part of their annual work experience week. This week long submersion into the real life world of work involved a range workshop sessions held by different employers. The sessions were arranged by Bristol Works, part of the Bristol Learning City Partnership, who focus on building a unique collaboration between employers, learning providers, and local communities to develop a skilled local workforce.

Asked to hold a workshop session with a group of Year 11 students, Alex and Giorgia led a hotel design project. Tasked with researching and refining the design of a luxury hotel, the students were put into small groups. In each group, individuals took a lead role in either sustainability, communication, or technology, and then worked collaboratively to produce the best overall design. 

Each team developed creative designs inspired by shapes in nature, the Bristol skyline, and even their favourite musician. This resulted in distinctive, yet well thought through hotels. All the teams considered environmental sustainability in the design process and what the hotel's unique selling point would be to set it apart.

​The students were also joined virtually by another member of Stantec’s Bristol office, Elizabeth Tripptree. Elizabeth gave the students an insight into her role as an assistant engineer, civil engineering as a profession, and also her career path and personal highlights, giving her unique insight into a STEM profession.

It was a really good test of my understanding and ability to explain concepts from the fields I have worked and studied in.

Following the day first time STEM volunteer Alex commented, “This was my first STEM activity for Stantec, and I had not previously done any work with children at all, so it was definitely a great experience for me. I thought the activity went really well and the students engaged with it, producing a sketch and presentation of their dream hotels.”

With most of her previous volunteer work involving younger students, the questions from the session kept Giorgia on her toes, “Getting to work with the older students was something new to me, because of the higher level they really asked interesting questions and it was a really good test of my understanding and ability to explain concepts from the fields I have worked and studied in.”

Find out more about how we engage with and support our local communities.

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