Bridge-Building in Clackmannanshire
Over the course of the last week, pupils from Dollar Academy’s Junior School and from other local primary schools worked together to build a most remarkable bridge.
About 180 of our Junior School pupils, plus another 130 pupils from local primaries (Muckhart, Strathdevon, Fishcross and Craigbank Primary Schools) took part in a bridge-building activity run by ICE, the Institution of Civil Engineers. They arrived with a sizeable trailer full of some impressively weighty wooden deck, vast lengths of heavy wire, robust-looking hooks and bridge towers. Once set up in the old Sixth Form Centre of the Junior School, the pupils set to work.
The activity was staffed entirely by volunteers, members of ICE—some were retired, some were recent graduates. One (our FP Marion Boswell) is still at university. They were always on hand to guide, encourage, offer advice and explain to their young engineers what had to be done and why.
Mr Delaney (organiser of the activity and EDT teacher) said, ‘The activity taught the pupils a huge amount about the importance of team-work and encouraged independent thinking. It also gave them the opportunity to chat with real engineers about their work and about the opportunities it provides. Some of the engineers, for instance, enjoyed fascinating careers living around the globe and undertaking some very exciting projects.’
Importantly for the girls, a significant number of the engineers were women; they were especially keen to promote engineering as a challenging and rewarding career for women in an effort to recruit females into an industry that has long been overly male-dominated.