VolkerFitzpatrick awards school £750 prize for winning SchoolKit Challenge

VolkerFitzpatrick has awarded a primary school close to their Crawley Eastern Gateway project a £750 prize for winning their SchoolKit Challenge. More than 90 children from Northgate Primary School Year 3 took part in the SchoolKit 2022 Challenge and won the award for their roundabout designs and pollinator stations, which relate to VolkerFitzpartick's Crawley Eastern Gateway project. The SchoolKit Challenge provides children with a series of project and construction-related challenges, designed to develop employability skills, raise awareness of different roles in the sector and make links between the classroom and the real world.

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The first challenge was to work as a team to plan, design and budget for a series of pollinator stations (for bees and butterflies) to link different spaces in the Crawley Eastern Gateway project and present their work as an exhibition. The second challenge was to create a model of a roundabout feature that is 'crash-safe' and present their ideas to the public.

The children's work showed imagination, creativity and great problem-solving skills. The pupils visited the VolkerFitzpatrick site to see the project for themselves and in turn, members of the site team visited the school to see their exhibition and present their award. The £750 prize will be put towards bridge building equipment for the year group.

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Class teacher Rhian King said, 'A massive thank you for coming to see our work. The children loved seeing you all again and all of us, teachers and children, have loved the real life projects. It is something they will never forget. I can't wait for our next project!'

Colin Bexley, project manager for Crawley Eastern Gateway, said, 'Working with local schools to inspire the next generation of engineers and project managers is an important part of what we do. Building social value into our projects makes a difference to our clients, the site team and for the communities we're working in.'

Workplace coordinator and STEM Ambassador, Marcus Cherrill, said, 'The teachers and pupils have been amazing. The SchoolKit Challenges have helped to inspire more than 2000 pupils. They help connect classrooms to the real world of construction and engineering. Huge thanks to WSP and West Sussex County Council for their continued support.'

VolkerFitzpatrick's £6.5 million Crawley Eastern Gateway project includes the enhancement of Crawley town centre, as well as improving pedestrian, cycling and bus facilities and creating better connectivity between the railway and bus stations.