This year Kier Construction Eastern sponsored ‘The Big Rig’ event organised by Northampton College. On April 24 and 25 schools from across Northamptonshire went head-to-head to compete in a ‘low carbon challenge’ aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The challenge consisted of a mixture of practical and theoretical sessions linked to the curriculum, with a strong focus on health and safety. Teams were judged on a range of set criteria including how well they understood and planned the project, economical use of materials, design of a rain water collection system, waste management process and how effective they were as a team

Hands-on activities enhance pupils’ problem solving skills and improve communication team-working and leadership skills. At the end of the session, tutors provided feedback and pupils were be encouraged to reflect on their group experiences. Daily winners then competed in the final on Friday, April 27.

Patrick Leavey, deputy principal at Northampton College, said: “We hope ‘The Big Rig’ will mark a renewed interest in, and commitment to, the development of science, engineering and technology as a career for young people in Northamptonshire.”

An all-female team of apprentices successfully designed and installed a hot water system capable of running a shower and emerged as the winners of the BIG RIG Challenge. It was a close competition with the second place team only just getting pipped to the post by the girls.

Amy Ball, a business apprentice who formed a part of the winning team, said: “It was brilliant to take part in The Big Rig, which is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It made me think about things in a completely different way and has improved my teamwork, communication and leadership skills. I’ve learnt a lot and made new friends along the way.”

Kier Construction Eastern have been chosen as preferred bidder for Northampton College £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre at Booth Lane, which will help train the next generation of construction industry professionals including builders, plumbers, carpenters and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping future workers with the very latest skills.