So…..first blog of the year goes to my great friend Alison Watson. Alison has just awarded the MBE for her tireless work in the education sector with Class Of Your Own and DEC!
I’ve known Alison for several years know and been involved in COYO. Her drive, passion, determination, vision and sometimes sheer bloody mindedness is what makes the difference. Her passion for the built environment and getting young people into our industry is second to none. I always find meeting her truly inspiring, and it is a privilege and a delight to work with her.
Very well done!
Info from Class of Your Own website
Land Surveyor Alison Watson and Architect Dan Gibson set up Class Of Your Own Limited in May 2009 to provide hands on workshops and a dedicated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) focussed creative curriculum.
Our aim was to encourage students, teachers and parents to recognise careers in Architecture, Engineering and Construction as highly skilled opportunities, and wholly relevant to future employment prospects.
After an inspiring workshop with a group of absolutely brilliant secondary school students, we had a rather life changing “what if?” moment, the catalyst for Design Engineer Construct!® the most innovative, challenging and relevant secondary school curriculum development in recent years.
- we could harness the enthusiasm we had seen that day and offer
the students a long term project with more detailed content and
- this project could be a cross-curricular, multi-disciplinary, broad
introduction into the built environment with sustainable, low energy
design at its core?
- we could fully unlock the educational possibilities and learning
potential within large scale construction projects taking place
nearby or even within their school?
- we could give students a real insight into the processes, disciplines and personalities involved in these projects and enable them to appreciate the huge range of professional careers that exist within our industry?
- we could give them the knowledge, skills and most importantly,
a “blank canvas” that would enable all students, regardless of
ability, to explore and build their own ideas from scratch?
- we could give them the know-how to harness industry leading
BIM technology, cutting edge software AND hardware as tools
to realise their ideas?
- collaborative working, shared learning and best practice could
become second nature from the age of 11?
- we could connect students with local industry professionals who could act as mentors during their project and build long term relationships with the school?
- we could offer them a formal qualification before they even reach GCSE options stage that provided a foundation for further exploration and continued learning?
- we could use this foundation as a platform to offer routes into a range of professional apprenticeship programmes with global companies, vocational training and real work experience?
- through this process we could begin to address the demographic time bomb that is resulting in a growing skills gap in UK educated construction professionals?
- EVERY student that followed the curriculum through to the age of 18 was given access to real opportunities to follow a career in the built environment with a network of world leading organisations?
- regardless of their chosen career path we could just help them to “think like engineers”, develop problem solving skills and see the world a little differently?
- we could create a brand new educational programme to do ALL of these things?