Surveyors of the future build design skills at Bidwells Hackathon

Eleven building consultants from the Bidwells Head Office in Cambridge ran a Surveying Hackathon with more than 50 students from Trumpington Community College last week with the teams behind ideas for a Coco-Cola Theme Park and a Trumpington Colosseum the two winners.

We are pleased to share this guest blog post, written by Ben Lee, PR Manager at Bidwells!

Groups of Year 10 students were challenged to take an empty field and develop ideas for innovative buildings by Bidwells and Form the Future, a social enterprise who are experts in working with young people and preparing them for life after school.

Rosie Robson, Head of Key Stage Three, Trumpington Community College, said:

“Our students gained a huge amount from the day, they really engaged with the project and constructed some brilliant models.”

The Hackathon’s aim was to provide young people in the local community with an insight into surveying, construction and planning and the different job roles in these areas; as well as provide information on apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships as viable options into employment.

Michaela Eschbach, Co-founder and Director at Form the Future said:

“It is amazing to see how much insight and excitement the Year 10 students from have gained by participating in Bidwells’ Hackathon. Its opened a few eyes and hopefully inspired many of them to consider surveying as a career. We at Form the Future are delighted to be able to facilitate student-business engagement and be part of days like these, supporting businesses to have a profound impact on young people by broadening their horizon and increasing their career awareness as well as building their skills”

Bidwells is embracing degree apprenticeships and see them as a fantastic way for young people to learn skills ‘on the job’, working closely with experienced individuals and studying at the same time to keep student debts as low as possible. The firm is also considering other entry-level schemes, such as placement scheme students and graduates.

Dan Coston, Partner, Building Consultancy, said:

“Bidwells had a role in the construction of Trumpington Community College so we felt it would provide the perfect opportunity for us to engage with the young surveyors of the future. Bidwells is keen to further grow its pipeline of future talent and ensure young people are inspired as well as aware of the skills they’ll need to succeed in a surveying career.”

Winner of the Most Innovative Idea prize was the Coca Cola Theme Park, a proposal for a branded theme park with waterslide, ski ramp on the roof, casino and train station access. The triangular-shaped building was designed so it wouldn’t block out light and the view from the school.

The Best Teamwork prize was won by the team who dreamed up the Trumpington Colosseum, an entertainment and leisure centre built using sustainable materials and designed to be eco-friendly. The facility would provide for people of all ages, from families and young people looking for entertainment, to business people needing meeting room space and adults interested in theatre and classical music.

Dan Coston added:

“I’ve got to say, we were hugely impressed with the diverse range of innovative ideas the students have come up with and how they’ve all learned to communicate and work together and use their design, maths and problem-solving skills. We’re also passionate about providing our employees with a fantastic opportunity to give back to their local community by using their creativity. The day was a huge success on all counts.”

Form the Future can support businesses to meet their goals in terms of community outreach, enriching their talent pipeline and corporate social responsibility. Coupled with our expertise in event management and connections with local schools, we can help businesses to inspire the next generation! Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how we can meet your businesses’ needs.

Image credit: Oh! Films


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Our goal is that all young people move successfully from education into employment. As a social enterprise, we are reliant on grants and corporate funding in order to work with the schools across Cambridgeshire. Even the smallest donation helps us to provide careers inspiration for every child. Click below to find out more about what your donation could do for young people in your community.