Students join in Cambridge LaunchPad day at Eddington!


Last week, we were delighted to be part of the Cambridge LaunchPad day, alongside Women into Construction and Form the Future, held at the Storey’s Field Centre in Eddington.

The day provided a great way to introduce the younger generation into the industry, and receive advice from some of the women at Hill!

The project day included 24 students in year 8 who had completed application activities to enter, making up 4 teams from a home school group, Sawston Village College, Linton Village College and Bottisham Village College.

Working in their teams, the students were tasked with forming their own property companies and regenerating a fictional city. Each student took on a different role, including Head of Environment and Head of Planning and Design, and worked on their ideas all morning to try and make the city an engaging and sustainable place to live.

In the afternoon, the students visited our sales and marketing suite at Athena, and also got meet some of Team Hill as well as representatives from the University of Cambridge, who spoke about what went into designing the community of Eddington. Introducing the students to women who work in construction and planning helped demonstrate that all genders can work in the industry. This also gave the students a chance to pick up some ideas and tips to use when finalising their own plans!

The groups pitched their ideas to a panel of industry experts, including Emma Fletcher, Managing Director of SmithsonHill and Chloe Houston, Development Manager from Hill. The judges were wowed by all of the teams, and the winning city was designed to be sustainable, accessible and a safe and healthy place for future generations to grow up.


I’ve enjoyed the mix of competitiveness and teamwork, and it feels like how the job would be. It’s fun working on a serious project where we can be creative and we really have to think about where we are putting the buildings. We aren’t treated like kids and we’re put straight into the work – in a good way!


The construction industry is complex and has many different facets – so an event like this really enables us to show all of the elements that go into construction, before the construction has even started. All of the students applied individually for today, and then became part of a team. They’ve come together, with different skills and qualities, and pitched their ideas. The things they’ve learnt today have been fantastic, and I think they’ll last with them for a long time. A lot of them are asking about careers and where they can go from now – and that’s great to see.

Emma Fletcher, Managing Director of SmithsonHill

The session brought land development and its career possibilities to life and helped students to work on skills such as time management, teamwork, communication, and problem solving – all key soft skills that Cambridge LaunchPad encourages young people to work on.

It was brilliant to go into all the different schools and interact with the students before the project day, and when we received their applications I was really encouraged to see that we had a 50/50 gender split on those applications – and we were so pleased with the quality of the applications. Here today – it’s fantastic to see a room full of students all learning more about careers in property development and construction.

Shelley Lawrence, Project Coordinator of Women into Construction CIC

Learn more about our exciting partnership with Women into Construction here.

The Cambridge LaunchPad is a movement led by science and technology companies to inspire young people, especially girls and young women, into STEM careers. Form The Future CIC, who organised the day, help to connect young people to a world of career possibilities. Find out more about Form the Future here.


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