Students investigate car crash aftermath at careers taster day

Date 12.06.2019

Students from across Northamptonshire assembled at Waterside today for a taste of higher education during the University’s third annual Car Crash Careers Day.

Year 9 and 10 students from 13 academies and secondary schools came into town to witness the fallout following a mock car crash. Students from the University’s Acting and Creative Practice courses played the parts of the motorists and passengers involved in the collision.

Group photo of Acting and Creative Practice students at the Car Crash Careers Day 2019

Students from the Acting and Creative Practice subjects.

For safety reasons the ‘crash’ had already happened, so students instead witnessed the high-action minutes immediately following it, with some of the actors arrested at the scene by officers from the Northamptonshire Police force and witnessed members of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue ‘extricating’ a person trapped in a car.

The event was organised by the University’s Changemaker* Pathways team, with funding attached to the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), through the Office for Students. This initiative aims to help young people from backgrounds who might not traditionally go to university consider higher education.

The morally conflicted actions of the people involved during the Car Crash Careers day – one of the drivers isn’t insured and another was drinking heavily the previous evening – were then used to lead ethical discussions amongst the students before and during interactive workshops held around campus.

Run by University lecturers, the aftermath of the crash was examined in each workshop that also showcased future career options available and the University courses they could take.

This year featured first-time workshops from members of the University’s acting, law and nursing subjects. Also new was an on-scene forensic examination led by Jon Hoddle from Northamptonshire Police.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue’s Ryan Chambers also led a workshop at the scene about fire safety, fire prevention and checking students had working smoke alarms and how to act in the event of them sounding.

Students also had the opportunity to talk about careers in the fire service, to look at fire and rescue equipment and get inside a real fire engine.

Members of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service attend the Car Crash Careers Day 2019

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service attend the scene.

The full schedule for the day was:

  • Acting (this workshop looked into verbal and non-verbal communication)
  • Biomedical Science (a lab-based activity to identify victim blood group matches)
  • Health and Social Care (post traumatic growth, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and ‘normal behaviour’)
  • Journalism and Media (students operated TV cameras and gave live comments on camera and interviewed those at the scene)
  • Law (general law from a solicitor’s perspective and medical law from the perspective of an in-house lawyer)
  • Midwifery (this session is linked to one of the victims who is pregnant)
  • Nursing (assessments of different patients reflecting the four nursing fields – adult, children and young people, learning disability and mental health)
  • Occupational Therapy (focusing on victim injuries and how this will impact their lives)
  • Paramedic Science (basic life support session and introduction to paramedic equipment)
  • Podiatry (diagnosis of lower limb neurology)
  • Policing (forensic tests such as finger printing)
  • Psychology (eye-witness testimony and memory recall following the car crash)
  • Sports Studies (exercise rehab).
Students from Kingsthorpe College work with Carly Daniel from the Multimedia Journalism team.

Students from Kingsthorpe College have a go at being multimedia journalists

Tim Dobson, Head of School’s Engagement in the University’s Changemaker Hub, said: “Thanks to our collaborative work with NCOP, the University has engaged with thousands of students who might not necessarily consider studying beyond sixth form.

“This academic year alone, our team have worked with 6,528 students from 24 schools and colleges with more than 100 different activities ranging from revision sessions, confidence raising workshops and mental health support.

“The Car Crash Careers Day is one of our bigger events and it has been wonderful to see even more students come along exploring the future career options available to them and life at a university such as Northampton. We hope one day to see some of them studying with us.”

Comments from the students included one who was left hungry for more Multimedia Journalism noting it was an “incredible experience” and Scarlett Stonehouse, from Malcolm Arnold Academy, who said: “I thought it was a great experience and I’m so glad I was picked to go. It has made me rethink about the job I want when I’m older as from what I’ve seen, I’m really interested in a career in mental health.”

*Changemaker is a University of Northampton-wide initiative which focuses on staff and students finding solutions to environmental or social problems to improve people’s lives, either at home or abroad.