Design Engineer Construct! (DEC) is a global education programme that is gaining acclaim for its unique curriculum, equipping the next generation of digital architecture, engineering and construction professionals with the tools, technology and inspiration that lead to success in these industries.
The programme is the brainchild of Alison Watson, a former land surveyor who now leads DEC internationally and in the UK. Given her extensive services to education, Alison was awarded an MBE in the 2018 UK New Years Honours list.
Alison was recently in Bangkok this October to launch DEC at Shrewsbury City Campus, marking the very first DEC programme in Thailand as well as the first to be introduced at a primary school level.
“DEC is transforming STEAM education in secondary schools across the UK, and now, it is here in Bangkok,” Alison says. “With a focus on maths in the built and natural environment, the programme aligns with the key principles of curriculum design – it’s in-depth, coherent and progressive while being challenging, engaging and fun.”
With DEC, academics are given a boost with real-world applications and opportunities. Students use actual CAD (computer-aided design) software and visit project sites via VR applications. The various modules cover topics like building an eco-friendly classroom and maintaining sustainability, designing a building needed by the local community, etc.
Also, Alison holds strong connections with industry leaders, professional bodies and progressive universities around the world, and they are invited to bring their expertise and real world experience to the DEC programme. For example, global engineering firm Black & Veatch and Bentley Systems, a provider of architecture and engineering solutions for advancing infrastructure, are on board, with specialists coming to the school to help teach and provide guidance for the students.
During the recent visit, industry professionals from Black & Veatch and Bentley Systems joined Year 6 in their DEC lesson, and were suitably impressed by the children’s command of CAD software. The students had been tasked with creating their dream home. Finished designs included curved roofs, indoor waterslides and a hotel for dragons.
Peer learning is also an important concept here. For example, the Year 6 children have invited Year 2 into their lessons to inspire their younger schoolmates, and model the possibilities in the world of design and construction.
Alison adds, “How will students benefit from DEC at City Campus? The programme gives students unique opportunities to get a head start in the architecture, engineering and construction industry, with a curriculum that has been tailored to inspire and equip primary-aged children.”
Katie Holland, City Campus’s specialist Design & Technology teacher, leads the DEC programme at the school. Katie has a First Class Honours degree in Design and Technology with Qualified Teacher Status from Edge Hill University, UK.
The school’s Principal, Amanda Dennison explains, “As a school, we feel very privileged to be part of the DEC programme. It is a unique opportunity for our children to benefit from first-hand experience of real-world situations. The direct links with industry will give depth and meaning to learning. This in turn will fuel and inspire the aspirations of our young people. To be covering aspects of sustainability, community and global citizenship through our bespoke approach is also very important to us. The enthusiasm and 100% engagement of the children in our DEC lessons is remarkable …..and this is only the beginning.”
Shrewsbury City Campus currently accepting applications. To see this unique learning environment for yourself, please contact the school’s Admissions team to arrange your visit: https://bit.ly/2KmCX35