With schools closed across Britain, many parents and guardians may be looking for extra educational resources for children.

At Network Rail, we're always eager to tell young people about all the exciting learning opportunities the railway has to offer. Here are some useful materials to keep kids busy while they're at home…

TV's Maddie Moate

Competition for children!

Young people visiting the railway as ​part of STEM outreach activities (picture taken before before coronavirus)

We've developed a great new competition for children, World Without Women, as part of our International Women in Engineering Day celebrations. This is an exciting opportunity for all children to take part in this day – and win fantastic prizes!

We would love for your child to research a female engineer who they think has had a huge impact on the world and tell us what the world would be like if that engineering solution did not exist.

Their entry should take the form of a poster or story. Please complete the application form and send your child’s poster or story to earlyengagement@networkrail.co.uk. All children should have a named parent or carer as a point of contact who can provide consent to take part. 

We're looking for creativity, originality and safety considerations. Prizes are available for two winners from each of the three age categories.

The prizes are:

All winners will have their wonderful pieces of work showcased in some of our stations for passengers to admire. 

  • All winners will have the opportunity to be inspired with a video conference delivered by Network Rail’s female role models. 
  • Winners from the five to eight category will have a chance to become a cartoon character in our Emily the Engineer Activity Book
  • Winners in the categories nine to 11 and 12 to 14 will win a Golden Ticket Experience Day at Network Rail

New activities launched on World Environment Day

For World Environment Day, we created new environmental resources to inspire and educate children to look after the environment.

These resources aim to improve children’s understanding of the natural environment and its relationship with the railway.

Elliot the Environmentalist – online activity book

The online activity book, Elliot the Environmentalist, helps young children to learn about the different types of nature found near the railway and how we look after the environment.

Elliot the Environmentalist

The book is full of puzzles and interactive games, encouraging children to learn more about the living world and how Network Rail protects, maintains and enhances the environment.

Caring for our Environment – online game

The online environmental sustainability game, Caring for our Environment, challenges children to think why caring for our environment is important. The game allows children to test their knowledge against a wide range of topics including climate change, energy and wildlife.

The interactive element of the game encourages children to develop their problem solving skills to tackle everyday environmental challenges on the railway and understand the need for different types of environmental roles – inspiring them to consider an environmental rail career:

A look at our brand-new Caring for our Environment online game for kids

Learning pack

Learning activities at one of the annual Big Bang fairs

We have created a pack of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning resources and activities to help parents juggle work and home schooling.

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.

The STEM pack includes tasks and activities aimed at children aged between five 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 five and eight 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.

Awesome Railways

We think trains and railways are awesome, and that’s why we need girls and boys at school today to learn about science, maths and technology (STEM) – so that you can help us to invent and design the railways of the future.

Our free downloads have fun facts for children. Find out more here.

Stay Safe with Thomas

Network Rail and Thomas the Tank Engine have joined together to help young children learn about staying safe around the railway. This is the first time a Thomas and Friends™ book has covered a rail safety theme.

In this new book, Thomas goes on an exciting adventure around railway tracks, stations and level crossings and he learns that staying safe is much more important than going fast or being silly! Click here to download a free copy of the book.

My Skills My Life personality quiz

Discover your personality type and see how your skills match up to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.

Connect with real people in STEM careers who have the same personality type as you.What do they do? What do they earn? How did they get there?www.myskillsmylife.org

Could you be an engineer like Emily Pollard? Take the quiz.

Emily the Engineer activity book

Download the activity book (right)

Network Rail and industry partners have created the Emily the Engineer activity book for children.

It's full of puzzles and quizzes and follows the character of Emily the engineer on her rail adventures – seeking to spark children's imaginations and inspire them to consider a career in engineering.

Colouring in!

Click on the download button for the full colouring in exercise

We've created a new colouring in exercise – all about our special recycling facility.

On the railway, we recycle a huge amount of waste. This helps us divert 94% of it from landfill!

This colouring in page shows some of our team hard at work helping to reduce our impact on the environment.

More activities to download!

Let’s get making! Here are some fun, free and family-friendly activities to keep kids busy and minds sharp.

Air blasters!

Wind-powered weightlifting!

Make a splash!

Engineers make the impossible possible every day by thinking creatively to solve problems, and this is just a little taster. Can you step through this piece of paper?

Do you know how many people travel by rail every day? Create your own ‘fortune teller’ and find out some facts about rail.

Primary school resources

Our downloadable lesson plans include activities that teach children about danger on the railway

Click through to this page to find lots more educational materials for primary school pupils. Education about rail safety at Key Stages 1 and 2 (Scotland P1 to P6) provides safety awareness to young people in their early years.

We have worked closely with teachers and students to develop resources that will help you to run fun, interactive activities that match different curriculum areas and deliver Ofsted requirements of PSHE teaching.

We encourage you to use the resources on this page to raise awareness of electrification on the railway, level crossings and railway safety. They include lesson plan activities and presentations.

Engineering: Take a Closer Look

The Engineering: Take a Closer Look is a UK government-backed initiative to encourage young people to take up STEM subjects.

It celebrates the world and wonder of engineering and forms an important part of our Industrial Strategy which is committed to boosting engineering across the UK, ensuring everyone has the skills needed to thrive in a modern economy.

Explore its activity zone, videos, and meet the engineers page.

One of the Year of Engineering events in 2018

Film – All Change

Watch this film to find out why the railway is for everyone and about some of the surprising jobs around Britain:

Read more:

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

STEM resources – Awesome Railways

How cutting-edge track technology is reducing delays for passengers

Graduate schemes

Apprenticeships

Summer placements

Year in industry placements