A student at Kingsbury Green Academy in Calne has been recognised for honing her design and engineering skills through a virtual work placement project to construct a coronavirus vaccination research lab.

Every year technical professional services company Jacobs invites students aged 14 to 17 who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to do work experience in their offices.

The coronavirus pandemic meant that this year’s face-to-face work could not go ahead, but instead put together a virtual work experience programme.

Hannah Smith, 15, now in Year 11 at Kingsbury Green Academy, was alerted to the opportunity by the school’s career leader, Catherine Young.

“I really enjoy science, maths and IT and am a logic-based person,” said Hannah, “So it looked really interesting.

"I applied and had to complete a survey to see if I was suitable, and was accepted. We were given all sorts of problems that would need to be solved in a real-life project.

“I learned a lot, from calculating the placement of beams and trusses to the mechanical engineering of water pipes within the building.

"I’m hoping to take A levels in maths, further maths, chemistry and IT eventually, so it was interesting to see how STEM subjects can be applied in real life.”

Hannah, who is due to sit her GCSEs next year, is also due to receive a certificate from the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) as the programme was accredited to Industrial Cadets Silver level.

Catherine Young said the school was delighted at Hannah’s commitment and that female students are encouraged to consider careers in STEM-based professions.

“She is a credit to the school and an inspiration to any student wondering whether science, technology, engineering or maths could be a career for them.”