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Transport Scotland volunteer highlights importance of working with schools

Kat Quane, a Road Works Policy Manager from our partner Transport Scotland, sat down to chat with us about her recent experience volunteering with a school and why it’s important to her!

Why is it important to volunteer?

“It’s important for people that might not see themselves as future engineers, people who think engineers don’t look or sound like them, or that you have to be physically strong and be able to recite the six times table flawlessly to have a shot at it – and engineering is actually one of the most inclusive industries I know.

Tell us about your day volunteering?

“I had the pleasure of meeting two P7 classes at Darnley PS, near Glasgow, both of whom were impressively enthusiastic for a Friday afternoon. One pupil asked if I minded being a Bachelor of Science and a Fellow – I’d never thought about it, but we agreed Bachelorette of Science sounded weird. They might not all go on to become engineers, but they’re all happily ‘qualified’ to read mark up paint now and know that the marks are definitely not signs left by burglars for each other. Even more impressively, one P7 girl immediately came up with why it was important to have sewers and water mains coloured differently on plans (“it doesn’t matter if they’re owned by the same person, it’s probably more important to know what you might be digging into”) which was about four years faster than the Horne Report to the UK Parliament took to come up with the same conclusion in 1989.”

“You might also find volunteering sparks your own enthusiasm. One class were genuinely concerned I was sharing government secrets, and I had to reassure them they could see the same photos I was showing them on our twitter account. To their minds if we have buses that can drive themselves, and avoid roadworks barriers, why isn’t is all over the news? Why don’t we have automated pizza deliveries, or autonomous pods that kids can order if they get lost? – the truth is, It’s no big secret, it’s just that in general, adults just don’t get as fired up about the possibilities of those things, we see the limits first. If adults were as passionate about finding solutions to problems as P7 Darnley though, we’d have had climate change wrapped up years ago, and you can’t not be inspired by that kind of passion.”

We offer a variety of ways for engineers to get involved so please get in touch with us if you share our passion for inspiring engineers in the making!