Been there, done that: career insights from leading STEM professionals

Year 8 pupils gained valuable career insights when senior professionals from the worlds of science and engineering visited the School.

The designated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassadors addressed the boys during Science lessons. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network has been established to encourage pupils to consider a future in technical fields.

“It is so important that our boys have the opportunity to engage with a range of representatives from different professions, learning about the skill sets and personal characteristics required, as well as the various routes into different careers,” said Head of Lower School Science Sarah Westcott.

Dr Westcott added that the visit gave boys the opportunity to practise their problem-solving skills: “They also gained a valuable insight into the enjoyment and challenge of a number of very different careers.”

""One group met acoustic engineer and Old Elizabethan Lewis Crabtree (1996–2003), who works for Max Fordham, a building services engineering company.  “He took the boys through the complexities of designing and building schools and concert halls,” said Dr Westcott. “This linked to part of the curriculum they have recently been studying and Lewis was impressed with their background knowledge of sound.”

David Sockett, a senior manager with Transport for London, spoke to another group about the difficulties of building infrastructure in a busy city like London and showed them a time-lapse video of his company’s latest bridge-building project. He is responsible for the completion of a £360m programme of projects across LU’s sub-surface network.

Dr Gioia Mosler from the Centre of the Cell at Queen Mary University discussed her career in the biosciences. Both a Geography and Science graduate, she described how she had applied her skills to work in mapping diseases including asthma in teenagers. Dr Mosler then heard presentations from the Year 8 boys as they prepare their own research projects for the forthcoming Science Fair and she gave her advice on how to plan a piece of scientific research.

""Rob Heaton is an electrical engineer who has worked for numerous companies, including Samsung in Japan. Now retired, he is the London schools liaison officer for the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He gave his group the opportunity to problem-solve and build a series of electronic devices, as well as speaking to them about the opportunities for an career in electrical engineering.

“We are very grateful to these high-ranking professionals for giving their time to visit us and share their skills, expertise and knowledge. There is no doubt that their enthusiasm and commitment has helped to inspire our boys and build on what they have already learned in the classroom,” said Dr Westcott.