Are young people really influenced by the special events that take place in schools?
Daniel Deadman-Corsie thinks so. As a student at Fernwood School in Nottingham he took part in their first ever ‘Design Day’ back in 2011. This year he is back, as a STEM Ambassador to inspire the next generation of students to consider a career in STEM.
When did you know that you wanted to become an Engineer?
I was interested in how things worked and enjoyed the ‘hands on’ experiences that this provided from a very early age. I had members of my family who had careers in engineering and they provided encouragement and acted as an inspiration for my curiosity.As I progressed through my time at school the desire to become an engineer only increased. The challenge for me was “what is the best way to achieve this?”.
Fernwood school is a 11-16 school in Nottingham so I applied to the local college to study A levels but also I applied for apprenticeships at companies in the area including Rolls Royce. I was accepted onto the A level courses but when the offer of a place at Rolls Royce I went with my ‘gut reaction ‘and accepted. I wanted to be in the work place and learning by being hands on so this was ideal for me. Ever since taking the apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce, I have never looked back in regret, it gives you the hands on skills and the knowledge how cutting edge businesses operate in the twenty-first century.
Tell us about that first Design Day...
The first design day was in 2011and I was in Year 9. The event lasted for 2 hours and every pupil worked with an outside provider on a challenge. In my case the challenge was to improve upon an item or design a completely new one for everyday use.
It was something completely different and interesting to learn in this way. Personally, it helped me to confirm that I wanted to be an engineer when I left school. The school was a Technology Specialist College and this was part of the action plan to promote careers in Technology and Engineering
How do you feel coming back to it today as a STEM Ambassador?
It was a strange experience to return and I wasn’t quite sure how to address my ex-teachers! Once I got over that it was exciting and very satisfying to be involved in the day
When I returned this year it was a really great surprise to see how the event had grown. From 2 hours to a complete day and a much wider range of workshops and challenges open to the pupils. I was involved with the design, making and testing rocket cars – great fun!
In fact, I enjoyed working with the pupils so much I have volunteered to return next year with a few colleagues and deliver a workshop and I can’t wait to do it!
What would you say to anyone who is considering running an event like this at school?
The pupils were brilliant and extremely enthusiastic during the workshop. I got the opportunity to answer questions and talk about my career and also to talk individually to some pupils who were interested in what I did.
It is worth remembering that days like this can have a massive influence of pupils either to;
- confirm what they are interested in can become a career
- open their eyes to the vast array of career opportunities open to pupils
- make them aware of the variety of pathways into a particular career and what qualifications are necessary
It is a great opportunity to showcase your STEM sector and to share your enthusiasm for your career.
If you get the opportunity – take it!