On Tuesday 27 February 2018, Space Group hosted a day of inspired learning for 14 North East Schools, with the support of Northumbrian Water and Newcastle College.
The day was designed to offer children and young adults from the age of 9 to 19 years a taste of what it’s like to have a career in some of the UK’s top organisations which develop new and emerging technologies within the construction industry.
Space Group invited schools and colleges from across the North East of England to take part in a series of engaging workshops where they experienced first-hand how these future-thinking businesses use robotics, drones, virtual relativity, 3D modelling and cloud technology to deliver today’s modern methods of construction in what is now termed ‘the digital built environment’.
The schools ranged from primary through to college level, and included: Kingston Park Primary, Washington Academy, St Cuthbert's Catholic High School and Newcastle College. Each school or college had a minimum of 15 children attending the day, which started at 9.00am and ran through to 2:30pm.
Catherine Fitzgerald, Head of Geography at Monkseaton Middle School commented: “Bringing the class here today has given them an insight into an industry which may had not considered as career path before. We have all, myself included, been exceptionally impressed and certainly inspired by what we have seen. It was particularly interesting to see the Virtual Reality and how this is translated into an actual building.”
Space Group partnered with Northumbria Water and Newcastle College to create this hi-tech day of learning to encourage young audience into considering a career in construction - whether it be architecture, engineering, computational design or digital construction.
Space Group CEO, Rob Charlton commented on the importance of reaching out to young people: “The world of technology is expanding at an uncontrollable rate, young people today live and breathe technology and we want to harness this power to focus it into educating the brilliant minds of tomorrow.
“In construction today, we are fast approaching a skills gap, and we need to address this now to ensure our industry professionals continue to grow at the same rate as technology evolves.”
Ray Elysee, Programme Leader for Creative and Digital Industries at Newcastle College added: “You can’t fail to be inspired by today. What has impressed me the most is seeing the young people interact so easily with the technology.”
There were seven workshop sessions for the attendees to participate in, run by Northumbrian Water, Autodesk and Topcon, BIM. Technologies and Luminous, Metsec, KyKloud, Space Architects, Faro and Galliford Try.
Galliford Try is a FTSE 250 business and one of the UK's leading regeneration and housebuilding groups, with revenues of £2.7 billion gave the children a presentation on how Building Information Modelling (BIM) was used in the design stages of Newcastle’s new University Technical College (UTC) which is being built only metres away from the Boiler Shop in Stephenson’s Quarter, close to Newcastle Central Station. The children were then taken on site and shown how the 3D models came to life to create an actual building.
Inside the Boiler Shop, the children wore oculus rift headsets and Luminous, KyKloud, Metsec and BIM. Technologies demonstrated Virtual Reality and, in a second session, BIM. Technologies showed the children how artificial intelligence, drones and robotics are increasing in their usage within the industry and driving its future.
Rob Charlton added: “Construction can often be known for simply bricklaying, plastering and plumbing. Today challenged this misconception by showing the young people there are indeed opportunities for coding, virtual reality and 3D modelling.”
The Inspiration Day is part of Space Group’s BIM Show Live three-day programme. BIM Show Live also took place at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle, it is a construction industry show like no other, bringing together like-minded future-thinkers in the world of digital construction, providing a programme of 32 seminars from over 50 UK and international speakers.