Siemens Congleton produce approximately 400,000 drives per annum. Each of these devices saves approx. 900g CO2 each year. They employ over 500 people and play a significant part in the local economy. With a national decrease in the number of school pupils choosing STEM subjects and this had a negative effect on the number of apprentice applications to Siemens.
Brand Identity, Strategy, CSR Initiative, Design, Project Management, Web Design, Video, Photography, Event Management, PR and Social Media
Siemens had the challenge of achieving the following 3 aims:
TMC Strategic Communications created a competition to engage with schools and the community to generate interest from pupils in STEM subjects but also to change the perception of Siemens and to create a legacy within the community.
Our response was an initiative called ‘The Roller-Coaster Challenge’. Siemens Congleton designs and builds the drives which control the motors for roller coaster rides such as the Nemesis and Pepsi Max. Our belief was that this would create an interesting theme to draw the students into participating with the challenge.
The Roller-Coaster Challenge is a competition involving high school students (years 7-9); encouraging them to design and build their own working model roller-coaster to actively become involved in an exciting hands on experience and to encourage the uptake of STEM subjects.
Each school was provided with its own dedicated Siemens mentor along with a kit of parts. Students were also invited to go behind the scenes at the Siemens factory to see first hand the drives being built.
Nine local schools from Congleton and Macclesfield took part in the challenge. Each school selected two finalists from those teams taking part and the finished Roller-Coasters were displayed and judged at an exclusive presentation evening at Congleton Town Hall.
Prizes were awarded for the best Roller-Coaster in the following three categories as well as an overall winner:- Innovation, Creativity and Design, Presentation and visual appeal and Thrill factor (G-force and speed)
The results and feedback from the Roller Coaster Challenge 2015 show that this project achieved the objectives outlined at the start of the project.
100% parent/community positive feedback on the challenge, awards event, and Siemens Congleton’s engagement with the community 80% of pupils and 100% of teachers felt that the pupils confidence and enjoyment in STEM subjects had increased 88% of pupils felt the RCC generated enthusiasm for working as an engineer in the future
Siemens also entered and won the regional final of the National Engineering Employer’s Federation (EEF) awards with the Roller-Coaster Challenge and were runners up in the national final.
Based on the success of The Siemens Roller-Coaster Challenge trials have been conducted in Manchester, with a view to roll the concept out nationally.
The competition continues to grow and is now a fixed calendar item with more schools participating each year. In 2017 the reach of the competition is in excess of 50,000.00 people.
The Roller Coaster Challenge is a fantastic initiative with the target of altering perceptions of engineering as a career.
Andrew Peters, Managing Director - Siemens Congleton
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