STEM Work in Local Schools


As part of our involvement in the Year of Engineering campaign, the Bureau Veritas acoustics and vibration team have been paying visits to their local primary schools to talk about the work they do within the field of science and engineering.

Simon Faircloth, senior consultant, attended his local primary school in Chorlton during school science week in February. Taking part in a session with his daughter's reception class he gave an introduction to the physics of sound by demonstrating wave propagation with a giant slinky. They also discussed how loud sounds can damage hearing and how hearing protection works, measuring the sound levels of popping balloons, whistles and the children shouting.

Simon comments: “I think these informal sessions are really important to start the process of engaging young people with STEM subjects. Children are really inquisitive and if we can help spark an interest in science and engineering, particularly with girls to help address the gender imbalance in our industry, then that can only be a good thing.”

Due to the success of the first visit Simon is returned to the school on 11 June, giving a session on the 'science of sound' for the older year 5 and year 6 pupils. Teachers and pupils took part in an experiment to determine the sensitivity of the human ear to different frequencies of sound, in addition to discussing room acoustics and demonstrating the phenomenon of 'standing waves'. They also took measurements with a sound level meter to determine who the noisiest year was with year 6 pipping year 5 with a winning reverberant sound level of 106 dBA!

Other members of the team, such as Richard Cope, technical director, and Paul Johnson, acoustics consultant, have also been visiting local schools to take part in similar sessions about noise and sound within the STEM industry.

Richard adds: “If given the opportunity, all industry professionals should take up the chance to engage with children on STEM subjects. It challenges us to focus on the more interesting and fun aspects of our work, offering a timely reminder of why we followed the career paths we did. It’s also great practice in explaining technical phenomena in a very clear and open way, which is frequently required in client meetings; but beware, don’t be surprised to get the trickier questions from 7 year olds!”

Big Bangs at Big Bang

Come and visit our specialist noise team at the Big Bang North West event in Liverpool on 10 July and see what all the noise is about! There will also be a thermocamera and a ‘what’s in the box?’ activity using an endoscope.

Want to know more?

To find out more about our people development programme, or to view current vacancies at Bureau Veritas, visit our careers website.

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