To help many parents who are having both to manage their own time while working from home and organise home schooling for their children, Network Rail has created a pack of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning resources and activities.
Although the material was originally created with employees in mind, it has now been modified for use by all, to help keep children educated and occupied and encourage youngsters to take a greater interest in STEM subjects.
Not all of Network Rail’s 41,000-strong workforce are frontline employees, classed as critical workers by the government. Many of the company’s office-based staff have been working from home since mid-March, with many juggling work and home schooling their children.
The new STEM pack includes tasks and activities aimed at children aged between 5 and 16, and there are links to the railway to help participants understand the industry that their parents work in.
Safety is at the heart of everything Network Rail does, so one of the tasks requires children aged between 5 and 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.
To maintain children’s (and parents’) interest, the pack will be updated each week with new material.
Network Rail director of diversity and inclusion Loraine Martins 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 online, so they can educate their children on railway safety.