Morgan Sindall Construction fuels stem engagement with new kit car for Tonyrefail pupils
Pupils at Tonyrefail School in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, are fuelling their enthusiasm for STEM subjects after being gifted a brand new formula kit car courtesy of Morgan Sindall Construction.
The main contractor built a new home for the school last year. Construction completed on the new building in 2019, but work to demolish the former school, and remove temporary construction facilities, is ongoing.
The kit car has been designed by the Greenpower Education Trust, a UK based charity aimed at addressing the engineering skills gap.
Through building it, students will learn key skills in mechanical and electrical engineering. They will also develop digital skills by using computer-aided design (CAD) software to manufacture specialist bodywork.
Once assembled, the model will be entered into the Greenpower Education Trust’s challenge: a racing event which gives schoolchildren across the country the chance to showcase their STEM skills in a competitive environment. Last year, the annual event was hosted at the UK’s iconic Silverstone Circuit.
Designed as a modern ‘all-through’ campus, Tonyrefail School currently caters to both primary and secondary school pupils, meaning students aged 5-16 will benefit from the initiative.
Morgan Sindall Construction was selected by Rhonda Cynon Taf (RCT) County Borough Council in 2017 to deliver the projects, through the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools programme.
Rob Williams, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We were incredibly pleased to hand over the new kit car to Tonyrefail students. With the current skills gaps in engineering and construction, the need to enthuse the next generation in STEM subjects has never been greater and we need to start from the earliest possible age.
“We engage positively with staff and pupils at all of our education projects and this particular initiative has been incredibly well received. We wish all pupils the best of luck with their entry.”
Assistant Headteacher at Tonyrefail School, Nicola Jones, said: "This donation will enable us to align the curriculum around a specific project, based on the kit car build, and include many aspects of science and technology. Students will be able to see the different STEM subjects come together to produce one product. It will raise awareness for pupils of how valuable and complementary different STEM disciplines are.
“It aligns nicely with our ambition to further develop the curriculum into a more integrated offer, with all STEM skills taught together. Morgan Sindall Construction has been great, and we wouldn't have been able to do this without the generous donation. It has allowed us to innovate in ways that we otherwise would not have been able to able to do."
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