TMC Strategic Communications

Siemens Rollercoaster Challenge

Impactful community engagement.

Linking business to its local community, inspiring and motivating young people and increasing talent pipeline.

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Siemens is a world leader in pioneering energy-efficiency, resource-saving technology and digital know how. 

Its site in Congleton is a centre of excellence in product process and digitisation. It leads the way in expertise, productivity and innovation for industries across the world producing and exporting 1.3 million variable speed drives that help reduce CO2 emissions by over four million tonnes per year.  These speed drives are the same bits of kit that control and drive motors for well-known rollercoasters such as Nemesis and Pepsi Max.

It was this, along with the fun fact that Nemesis is an anagram of Siemens, that caught our attention when asked to come up with a campaign to:

• Raise the Congleton site’s profile as a significant contributor to the local economy

• Support Siemens national initiative to boost skills by enriching teaching and learning in Science, Engineering, Technology Maths (STEM) and increase the number of apprentice applications within engineering roles

• Provide a local legacy that improves skills and increases the accessibility and desirability of engineering across all genders

The Results
  • 100% positive feedback from the local community

  • 88% of pupils would now consider engineering as a career

  • +50k reach of the competition in 2018

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The Solution

An annual schools based challenge that highlights Siemens Congleton’s engineering and technology expertise in a context familiar to young people. With an aim to enhance their understanding of core curriculum subjects of Science, Technology and Maths through fun and practical tasks. It would provide opportunities for Siemens employees to regularly and directly engage with young people and the local community helping to positively inspire and influence students about a career in STEM.

To date, all 11 secondary schools in the area have participated with both of the secondary schools in Congleton taking a key interest from day one. To date we have reached over 17,000 young people, their parents, and the local community. Press coverage has been extensive and the Challenge has won internal and national awards.

The Rollercoaster Challenge, now in its 7th year tasks students, aged from 12-14 to work  in teams over a twelve week period to design, build and test a working rollercoaster model, create a business plan for their project and present the end result to a judging panel at a finals event hosted at the Town Hall with an invited audience from the local community.

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TMC Strategic Communications
TMC Strategic Communications
TMC Strategic Communications
TMC Strategic Communications

Participating schools, are provided with a comprehensive Challenge entry pack including K’nex kit and are linked with a dedicated apprentice / graduate volunteer member of the Siemens’ Congleton team to work with them throughout each step of the journey affording them the opportunity to extract knowledge directly from industry experts and see first-hand how drives are built during a site tour.

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“The Roller Coaster Challenge is a fantastic initiative, with the target of altering perceptions of engineering as a career.”

Andy Peters – Managing Director, Siemens

Students are empowered, enthused and motivated throughout by their mentors who offer first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in engineering, encouraging them to practise effective decision making, workflow management and task delegation and to demonstrate, the collaboration, creative thinking, problem solving, communication and perseverance skills desirable to future employers.

Throughout the campaign, we enhanced visibility of the project through a dedicated website alongside social media and PR support. The website provided a central resource for participants and stakeholders to refer back to and actively promote the challenge to their peers. Our social media support highlighted the timeline of activity and proactively celebrated achievements of students for the duration.

TMC Strategic Communications
TMC Strategic Communications
TMC Strategic Communications

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