We have placed the spotlight is firmly on the group of pupils from Drummond Community High School who have well and truly been inspired by a partnership programme between industry and education.
After taking part in the DEC programme and winning a national competition resulting in a trip to Singapore the sky is the limit for Alizah, Faye, Wictor and Ryan and I was lucky enough to catch up with three of them to find out more.
In your own words, what is DEC?
Alizah: ‘Design, Engineer, Construct is about applying skills and school knowledge into real life. It’s a construction based programme where we used our imaginations and creativity to solve problems. The programme helps you enjoy the subjects, like maths, as you can understand why you need it in the real world of work. Originally I wanted to do medicine and my teacher told me about DEC and it sounded great, I now want to be a Civil Engineer.
Why did you choose the DEC programme?
Faye: ‘in 3rd year, I want to do something interesting and DEC was available so I gave it a try’
Wictor: ‘I wanted to be an architect and thought DEC would give me an opportunity to branch out and understand the whole industry, it was interactive too. It has helped my think about wider careers and I now want to be Civil Engineer’
Alizah: ‘Originally I wanted to do medicine and my teacher told me about DEC and it sounded great. ’
Tell me how you won the trip to Singapore?
Faye: ‘As a team we had to design a hyperloop for Edinburgh as part of the Bentley Future First Infrastructure Challenge. We had to demonstrate all the skills we had developed through DEC. We were then selected to go to London for the next step of the competition against 4 other schools. In London each group was presented with a new challenge, adapt the hyperloop for Singapore – we had 24 hours to do this. We worked as a team to adapt how the building would work, adapting the roof, shape, how the hyperloop would turn, considering things like temperature differences and other environmental aspects as well as design elements. It was terrifying thinking about the presentation but once we started it went really well – and we won!’
What skills did you develop through the programme?
Wictor: ‘We developed skills for our careers by managing to combine everything we have learned, like graphic design and maths to come up with solutions for real business problems. I also improved my confidence, I approached Tesla with a concept I had for developing their showroom, I would never have done this before the programme’
Faye, Alizah and Wictor were all in agreement stating that ‘confidence, communications, presentation and planning skills have all been developed.
What is next for you all?
Alizah: ‘I want to be a Civil Engineer. I am at college now and the programme has helped me feel prepared for this and next steps at university, I have enjoyed learning more about industry and now have a great network of contacts’
Wictor: ‘I am looking forward to going to university as I want to be civil engineer now, DEC has helped my work this out’
Faye: ‘I like the idea of model making and I like working with people, but I am taking a year out to travel the world, 17 countries in one year! I would never have had the confidence to do this without the DEC programme’
What can I say, a fantastic group of young people with a bright future ahead, we wish you all the best in your next steps.