Originally created with employees in mind, the material has been modified for use by all to help keep children educated and occupied and encourage youngsters to take a greater interest in STEM subjects.
While the majority of Network Rail’s 41,000-strong workforce are frontline employees – classed as critical workers by the Government – the company’s office-based staff have been working from home since mid-March, with many juggling work and home schooling their children.
The STEM pack includes tasks and activities aimed at children aged between 5 and 16, and there are links to the railway so that participants can better understand the industry their parents work in. With safety at the heart of everything Network Rail does, one of the tasks requires children aged between 5-8 to watch an animated clip showing electricity being used and identify any safety-related issues. Another task, suitable for all ages, requires participants to register for a Leaders Award that asks them to identify any problem that could be fixed with an engineering solution, inspiring them to start thinking like an engineer.
The pack will be updated each week with new material.
Loraine Martins, Network Rail’s director of diversity and inclusion, said: “We recognise that this is a challenging time for everyone, including those who now find themselves having to juggle working from home with looking after their children.
“We hope that this STEM learning pack will help people across our industry and beyond to manage that work-life balance, while also perhaps sparking an interest in STEM among some young children who could one day find themselves following in their parents’ footsteps and working on the railway to help deliver a service passengers and freight users can rely on.”
In addition to the STEM pack, Network Rail has also shared trespass-related materials with employees so they can educate their children on railway safety. There are some podcasts available at https://www.funkidslive.com/podcast/britains-digital-railways/#.