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We will need 30,000 people to help design and build HS2.

Educational content

Learn from home with our HS2 educational content.

HS2 Education Programme

The programme supports students to develop their Essential Skills through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) focused projects and activities featuring real world examples from the transport and infrastructure industries.

At the current time, many parents are supporting children who are learning at home. HS2 have developed a range of curriculum-linked activities that could make interesting projects to work on at home.

Short Activities

Track Builders

The track for a high-speed train has to be straight and level. If there are too many turns, or the train has to go up or down a hill it will have to slow down. Our country is full of obstacles – from hills, rivers and parks to roads, towns and airports. Sometimes we have to build tunnels, bridges, embankments and cuttings so that our track can get past these obstacles while staying in a straight line.

Activity: Make a structure to support a rail track out of everyday materials like lollipop sticks and clothes pegs.

Target Age: 7 – 11 years old.

Resources needed: Building materials, everyday objects including ‘straights’ such as lollipop sticks, playing cards or straws and ‘joiners’ such as clothes pegs, bulldog clips or elastic bands.

Curriculum links & skills: Science, technology, mathematics, geography. Communication, creativity, evaluation, organisation, problem solving and team working.

Download Worksheet

Download All Documents

Mystery Team Puzzles

Activities help pupils to use their teamwork, communication and organisation skills to solve the puzzles.

Activity: Groups choose from a selection of 5 envelopes each with a mystery activity inside.

Target Age: 7 – 11 years old.

Resources needed: Everyday materials, such as plastic cups, newspaper, cardboard tubes and egg boxes. Printable challenge cards

Curriculum links & skills: Problem solving, communication, co-ordination, organisation, team work.

Download Worksheet

Planning the Railway

Highlights the need to consider different factors when making a decision on a project and the need for a ‘high speed’, the route to be as straight as possible.

Activity: Route planning activity. Pupils use co-ordinates to place features on the map. They then plan their route reading ‘feature cards’ to see the implications of their choices.

Target Age: 7 – 11 years old.

Resources needed: Wooden track train set or similar. To create a 3 x 3 grid, you may want to use A3 paper or newspaper pages, drawing the lines with pieces of string, or drawing it on the patio in chalk (if the weather is good).

Curriculum links & skills: Technology, mathematics. Communication, creativity, evaluation, organisation, problem solving and team working.

Download Worksheet


Virtual STEM Workshop Activities


Students develop their STEM powers, exploring the transferable skills that are needed to be successful in a STEM career. Through a series of hands-on design and build team challenges, inspire your students to become EPIC engineers – Extraordinary People Initiating Change. Activities are underpinned by examples from the world of work, with students finding out about careers in transport infrastructure as they take on different roles in the challenges.

Target age: Key stage 3 (years 7 to 9)

Structure: Full day cross-curricular project, or a two-hour Science or Maths focused lesson

Curriculum links: Mathematics, science and design technology


  • Stations of the Future: A design challenge that encourages students to consider future trends and the needs of all customers.
  • Tunnel building: A build challenge that applies knowledge of forces and efficiency of design as teams construct and test a tunnel frame.
  • Rail Rush!: Through playing a specially designed board game, students insights gain insight into the different factors that a project manager has to weigh up on an infrastructure project as they create their own rail network.

Stations of the Future

Encourages students to consider future trends and the needs of different types of customers. Develops employability skills.

Activity: Students propose a design for a future station, taking on the role of either a Civil Engineer, Customer Experience Designer, Environmental Advisor or BIM Technician.

Target Age: 11 – 14 years old.

Resources Needed: Pencil and paper. Downloadable slide deck.

Curriculum links & skills: Technology, mathematics, science. Communication, creativity, evaluation, organisation, problem solving and team working.

Download  Worksheet

Download Powerpoint

Tunnel Building

The activity explores design, modelling and prototyping and its effect on modern engineering practice. Develops employability skills.

Activity: Students build a railway tunnel structure using art straws. The structure is tested for stability and efficiency of design.

Target Age: 11 – 14 years old.

Resources: Building materials such as art straws, or newspaper, load such as a bag or rice or flour.

Curriculum links & skills: Technology, mathematics. Communication, creativity, evaluation, organisation, problem solving and team working.

Download Worksheet

Download Tunnel Structures PowerPoint

Rail Rush

Highlights the importance of balancing different factors when making decisions on a project

Activity: Custom made board game that involves developing a rail network, while considering environmental, service and community impacts.

Target Age: 11–14 years

Resources: Printable board and cards.

Curriculum links & skills: Geography, environment. Problem solving, decision making, analysing, communication.

Download Worksheet

Download PowerPoint

Download Rail Rush! Game

Download Counters and Track

Download Cards

Example 1 - Chloe, 12, etc...
Ben, 13 etc.
Charlie, 12 etc.
Our Weekly STEM Champions: Ben, 12. Charlie, 12. Chloe, 13.

Longer STEM Projects

Collaborate, Create, Communicate

Students are introduced to Smeaton, a fictional city chosen as the site for a new high-speed rail terminus. Students will form a project team to develop an in-depth proposal for a river crossing in Smeaton, which will connect the new station to the existing local transport network. Students are given access to realistic information which will allow them to weigh up the different options for the crossing and to consider the impact of their solution on local communities.

Target age: Key stage 4 (years 10 to 11)

Structure: 6 part cross-curricular project (7 to 11 hours) or one-off two-hour lesson

Resources needed: Printable PDFs and slide decks provided. Building materials such as card and sticky tape would be needed if you chose to make a model.

Curriculum links: Geography, history, English, mathematics, science design and technology, art and design


  • Researching and designing ideas for a crossing
  • Role-playing local people’s views
  • Building a model of the crossing
  • Presenting their design
  • Simulated community consultation meeting

Teacher Guide

Introduction PowerPoint

Download all the PowerPoints as one file, or individually; , 2, 3, 45, 6

Route Options Project

Students evaluate four possible routes for a new railway. With no perfect answer, they must weigh up pros and cons, balancing community, economic and environmental factors, and make a case for their choice. The project aims to develop students’ analytical, reasoning and communication skills, set in the context of a realistic business scenario.

Target Age: Key stages 5 and 6 (years 10 to 13)

Structure: Cross-curricular project (up to 10 hours)

Resources needed: Printable PDFs and slide decks provided.

Curriculum Links: Geography, politics, environmental studies, maths and English.


  • Research into possible route options
  • Assessing different options using agreed criteria and drawing up expert opinion
  • Reaching a conclusion that can be defended with evidence
  • Presentation of the preferred option

Teachers’ guide

Student guide

Career role models

People at HS2 Ltd work in a huge variety of roles, from IT to archaeology, from engineering to the environment. Many of them volunteer as education ambassadors to share their experiences. Our ambassadors can help bring your careers and enterprise events to life; they can also work alongside you on interactive workshops that get students thinking about their own abilities.