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Network Rail STEM Lab

Interact with Network Rail employees and engage in a range of STEM-related activities linked to the rail industry.

Network Rail STEM Lab

Network Rail has created a dedicated space allowing schools and youth organisations to come in and interact with their employees. They aim to inspire children through activities showing that the rail and engineering industry can be diverse and fun, whilst developing both their technical and essential skills.

Activities include:

  • VR Headsets involving a virtual reality game in which you take on the persona of an employee completing 4 different tasks in Network Rail and solving the problems.
  • Ozobot activity courses - Create your own track for our mini robots (Ozobots) and code them to perform different actions using coloured markers. You will then learn how to code the robot correctly in line with different rail related scenarios.
  • Bridge/tower Building – Work in a team to create a bridge or tower suitable for the project specification given. Learn to manage your budget as you’ll be able to purchase ‘add-ons’ to make your project stand out from the rest.
  • Virtual Reality Cube – learn about the development of signalling on the railway and drive your own train in our 3D cab experience.
  • My Skills My Life quiz - Young girls travel through this virtual quiz which matches their personality to STEM Related Careers

Network Rail aim to show that both their company and industry are attainable by all regardless of gender, ethnicity and social background, breaking any pre-existing stereotypes they may have.


Minimum of 3 participants, maximum of 15 participants.


The duration of the experience depends on the number of activities you choose to include in your visit to the STEM Lab. Each activity takes approximately 30 minutes and they ask for teachers to allow for 30 minutes at the start and end of the session for introduction, evaluation forms and closing. Upon receiving your email to book the lab, one of the STEM Lab leads will be in touch to create and tailor the day to your specifics needs and the demographic of the group.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Learning what the engineering workplace is like

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Subjects and topics

    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Maths
    • Design, art and fashion
    • Electronics, robotics and programming
    • Energy and environment
    • Structures, construction and civil engineering
    • Mechanical engineering, systems and processes
    • Transport

Gatsby benchmarks

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Learning from career and labour market information
  • Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Experiences of workplaces

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Aiming high - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Leadership - supporting, encouraging and motivating others to achieve a shared goal.

  • Listening - the ability to listen and understand information.

  • Problem solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Speaking - the oral transmission of information or ideas.

  • Staying positive - the ability to use tactics to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.

  • Teamwork - working cooperatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.

What the teachers say

We would love to read all about your time with this experience!

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