A BRIGHT schoolboy could be masterminding our solution to the coronavirus crisis from his bedroom.

Alex Roberts, 15, wrote to the construction services company Jacobs in the hope of boosting his science, engineering, technology and maths skills on work experience.

The Lewes Old Grammar School Year 10 pupil had been set the task by his teachers for an assignment.

And despite the coronavirus lockdown, Alex has found himself working out ways of answering some of the questions that have got the country’s biggest boffins baffled.

Jacobs has set the tasks to him virtually so he can complete them at his home in Hassocks.

It may not be quite as hands-on as he would have expected several months ago but he will no doubt be vexed by the challenge to design a fictional coronavirus vaccine research centre.

He has already started the five-week programme, which includes ten sessions with Jacobs.

The tasks include learning about project management, architecture, problem solving and analysing data.

He will have to consider things such as finding the right location that allows easy access for doctors and scientists from around the country, how to make the facility stay in budget and how to use the most sustainable materials.

Alex said: “It has been great to have the opportunity to participate in this and to find out about the massive spectrum of jobs within the world of engineering, from health and safety to interior design.

“I had no idea that people working in an engineering firm would previously have studied such a wide range of subjects.

“My favourite task so far has been an urban planning task where I used Google Earth to pick a suitable site for the fictional project.”

The school’s work experience co-ordinator Javed Alikhan said: “We think it is fantastic that Alex is experiencing this level of industry expertise.

“To be working on such an interesting, relevant project is a privilege especially now while all the pupils are working at home.”

Jacobs said the company has been taking on pupils and students to work in science, technology, engineering and maths for several years.

The company wants to inspire and show the opportunities of a career in the sector.

In a statement it said: “Until now, students have generally undertaken work experience in offices alongside staff. But with the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent closure of offices across the UK, we saw an opportunity to re-invent the way they deliver work experience.

“In a typical week, students cover two topics with video lectures and then are given activities.

“There are live question and answer sessions with a professional from Jacobs who works in the relevant area and students can ask questions about the activities, the person’s career and anything else.”