Press release

It's showtime! Helping pupils set off on the road to STEM careers

Highways England treated almost 100 pupils to a lively lesson in road building and gave them the chance to win a very special prize for their school.

School children learning how to build a bridge

Children at two schools were treated to a visit from a team of road experts as part of the build-up to this weekend’s Rutland County Show where Highways England is hosting a series of exciting activities and displays.

Pupils between the ages of eight and 11 took part in the Highways England fun sessions at the Brooke Hill Academy Trust and English Martyrs Catholic Voluntary Academy Trust in Oakham.

Building on their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) knowledge, pupils were helped to plan, design and build their own road bridges as well as learning about the work that Highways England does. They were visited by experts from East Midlands Asset Delivery (EMAD) which is made up of Highways England and 22 partners including nmcn and Kier.

A government-owned company, Highways England plans, designs, builds, operates and maintains the 4,300 miles of motorways and major A-roads that form England’s strategic road network (SRN).

It also provides information and assistance to the four million road users on the network every day.

The school children were invited to design a poster reflecting that work with some of the best examples to be displayed in the Highways England marquee at the Rutland County Show on Sunday 2 June where a winner will be announced.

The best poster winner will net their school a team of workers for a day from EMAD. They will be available to clean up, carry out a bit of DIY, gardening or even decorating. And there will also be a £25 gift voucher for the winning artist.

Highways England is gearing up to host a range of demonstrations and activities for visitors to the Rutland County Show, one of the oldest events of its kind in the country.

A new ‘road’ will be laid where live demonstrations will take place enacting incidents which traffic officers and their emergency services partners often face.

A demonstration by Highways England at last year's Nottinghamshire County Show
A demonstration by Highways England at last year's Nottinghamshire County Show.

On display will be a number of Highways England’s vehicles for people to see up close and even sit in, ranging from the huge gritters and construction machinery to safety and traffic officers’ vehicles. Traffic officers will also be around all day to talk about their role.

Some of the posters made by the schoolchildren will be on display in a huge marquee where there will also be various exhibitions covering the work of the Highways England, details of careers in the business and a focus on some of the safety campaigns now running. Highways England is committed to making the road network safer for both road users and road workers.

A centrepiece will be the environmental stand which will have some wildlife and small creatures to observe. There will also be activities for children including a treasure hunt and reaction tester.

Making a special appearance will be Phil the Bin who will be warning about the dangers of dropping litter. Around 200,000 bags of litter are collected from Highways England roads every year. Litter presents a serious safety risk besides being unsightly and a risk to wildlife and the environment.

Highways England’s Contract Collaboration Manager Mark Humpage said:

We were delighted with the response we had from the children who were very interested in our work and came up with some excellent, innovative bridge designs. It will be difficult to pick a winner from their very creative posters.

Being part of the Rutland County Show enables Highways England to provide an insight into our many varied and exciting roles and responsibilities. It gives visitors the opportunity to get up close and explore a wide range of our machinery and vehicles as well as taking on board some of our safety messages.

Please come along and visit our marquee and enjoy some of the demonstrations and activities on offer. It promises to be a great day out for the whole family!

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 28 May 2019