On Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th January during morning lessons students in Year 9 took part in a workshop about the Rail Industry facilitated by a Learn by Design – a company who use a range of innovative and creative methods to engage and motivate learners. The Workshops were broken into three separate one hour sessions in a rotation format.
Session 1 looked at the breath of the rail industry and included a segment called ‘Meet the Engineer’ where the students were able to question a Young Ambassador from ‘Young Rail Professionals’ about working in the industry and how you become a Rail Engineer. The students used Quizdom handsets to log their answers to those questions. After each question, they looked at the answer data to see if they had answered correctly and why they chose a particular answer. They were then provided with the correct and more detailed answer. They finished the session by doing a simple circuit board challenge to light a bulb to demonstrate signalling.
Session 2 was all about innovation and use of technology in rail industry. The students were given an information card about one particular area related to the rail industry and challenged to design an app that could assist this area. They were provided with an A3 template to help prompt their design. They then presented their designs to each other. Several pairs of students were chosen then to present their design to the rest of the group.
Session 3 looked at the other skills you need to work in the rail industry and how to get them. This was delivered through a facilitated group discussion, followed by a teamwork robots based activity. This was followed by a short reflection about what skills they used in that activity, how they could improve or better utilise their skills to improve the outcome and which skills relate to the rail industry.
The Team Leader from the company, Bob Boyd, who is a former Head teacher and has worked with young people all over Europe, was high in praise about our students. He said that the groups on both days were some of the best he had seen and compared to 90% of other schools he thinks that staff at the school have done a very good job with them.
As a result of taking part in the Workshop a small group of Year 9s who really excelled at the workshop will go on to take part in an iRail showcase event at Pride Park in March.