Well, summer and autumn really. Over the last four months, Expedition used the innovative Think Up Student Studio package to give high-quality work experience to six Year 10 and Year 11 school students. Student Studio is designed to help students get the most out of their week spent in an engineering design office. It removes that question of the supervising engineer, uttered in dispair the moment the student walks in through the door, “What am I going to give them to do?” Student Studio is the answer. It is a suite of design projects that work experience students can work through semi-independently during their week in the office. It doesn’t replace shadowing, participating in meetings or going on site; but it does give students a project (a microcosm of a real project) that they can call their own, through which they can demonstrate their own initiative, and to which they can point to and say I did that.
According to Expedition’s Ruth Hopgood-Oates, the company used to have to be quite restrictive of the number of school-aged work experience students it took on because “however much we like having students in the office, it used to take a lot of time out of an engineer’s time to supervise them”. She went on to say, “this year we successfully took on more work experience students than ever before”. Project Engineer Alex McCredie said “it felt good to be actually giving the students something meaningful to do without the burden of having to dream something up myself”.