Dozens of students across Coventry have had the chance to develop their digital skills thanks to a STEM programme funded by CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent Full Fibre platform.
CityFibre, which is investing more than £72.5m to bring full fibre digital connectivity to homes and businesses throughout Coventry, sponsored the provision of STEM Day+ sessions for three local secondary schools, including Cardinal Newman School, Lyng Hall School and Cardinal Wiseman School.
The interactive workshops, which are run by educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, introduced students to the exciting world of engineering, with the aim of inspiring young people who are interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, and mathematics.
During the sessions, students took part in an autonomous vehicle challenge, which encouraged them to explore the potential of driverless cars and their use within society. Using Lego Mindstorms and iPads, participants were challenged to build their own vehicles using sensors to navigate around a city without any human interaction.
Students were also tasked with creating a logo and unique branding for their car, while also devising a mini marketing and sales strategy for the launch of the product, before presenting their ideas to the group.
Leigh Hunt, CityFibre’s City Manager for Coventry, said: “The digital revolution and a state-of-the-art full fibre network has arrived in Coventry. Full fibre down every street will fundamentally change the way we work, play and live. For it to be used to its full advantage, it needs young people armed with the skills and knowledge needed to use it and realise the benefits and future potential it brings. Workshops offered by the likes of The Smallpeice Trust are vital in teaching kids the skills they need and we’re proud to support them.”
Dr Kevin P. Stenson, CEO of The Smallpeice Trust, said: “This day was designed to help students learn new skills in construction, design, public speaking, and project management, whilst also building their knowledge on autonomous vehicles, sensors and robotics.
“We want young people who are into science, technology, engineering, and maths to live in a world that celebrates their passion and supports their vision for the future. That’s why we do what we do, but we couldn’t do it alone. It’s all thanks to working with like-minded organisations, such as CityFibre, which has supported the provision of our STEM Day+ events, helping us to inspire young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.”
Kamilla, a student at Lyng Hall, added: "All of the different activities over the day had been really interesting, but also fun as I had been able to work on them with their friends. The day has increased my interest in STEM subjects and it is something I would definitely consider doing in the future."
Services are now live in the original build area in Coventry. Homes in Ash Green, Holbrooks, Keresley End and Radford as well as Longford, Stoke and Wyken are already prepared for service, with customers now enjoying fast and reliable broadband services through Vodafone. Other services, including TalkTalk, are expected to join the network in the future, giving residents a choice of providers.
Homes and businesses across the city will soon be able to access full fibre connectivity after CityFibre extended its build in the city earlier this year. Work is currently underway in a number of locations including Tile Hill, Allesley Village, Binley and Walsgrave.
Coventry residents interested in giving their home broadband a boost can find out more about the build and check whether services are live by visiting www.cityfibre.com/PR-Register
To find out more about The Smallpeice Trust, visit: https://www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk/