Pupils build mini Forth Road Bridge

Monday January 11th 2016

Bridges 2 Schools project web

Around 600 Midlothian primary pupils are building their own mini version of the new bridge over the River Forth.

Promoted by the industry’s professional body, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the multi-agency initiative will see groups of up to 25 senior primary pupils from 12 schools in the county each build a model cable-bridge, similar in structure to the new bridge under construction. The pupils will then have the chance to walk across the bridge before dismantling the structure.

The first group of 22 P6 pupils from Tynewater Primary in Pathhead successfully built their bridge today at the National Mining Museum Scotland.

Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Catherine Johnstone, who attended the first session with Councillor Derek Rosie, chief executive Kenneth Lawrie and head of education Grace Vickers, said: “We’re absolutely delighted so many of our primary pupils are getting the chance to tackle such an exciting civil engineering challenge.

“We understand the project has been delivered in other parts of Scotland but with much smaller pupil numbers.

“Well done to all the agencies involved, from Midlothian Council to the Bonnyrigg-based Civil Engineering and Road Surfacing contractor Crummock and ICE, for working together to make these sessions happen. Pupils will learn so many valuable, hands-on lessons about working as a team. Hopefully, we might also inspire the pupils to consider a career in civil engineering.”

Crummock, Midlothian Council’s Roads Services team and ICE are delivering the hour-long sessions over two weeks from today Monday 11 January at the museum.

Sara Thiam, Regional Director ICE Scotland, said: “Our Bridges to Schools programme gives pupils an early insight into the industry while having some fun along the way. The need to inform young people about a career in the industry is ever more important as the numbers of young people entering the profession are in decline just at a time when we are emerging from recession and the people who design, build and maintain Scotland’s infrastructure are in demand.”

David Duncan, Marketing and Business Development Manager from Crummock said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to enthuse primary pupils with hands-on civil engineering and team working skills. Hopefully this will inspire them to consider careers in Civil Engineering and other professions that require STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. It’s tremendous that so many Midlothian schools are keen to be involved.”

During the first session today, the Tynwater pupils were split into two teams of 11 to tackle everything from bolting the bridge base to testing the bridge’s strength.

Jasmine McLeod, 9, said her favourite part of the sessions was “working as a team”.

She added: “I’m from a family of engineers and being an engineer is definitely what I want to do as a career.”

For more information on the initiative visit the ICE website HERE.

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