ICE to Build Bridges at Marine Festival

6th September, 2012
4 September 2012

The Institution of Civil Engineers will be building bridges with city primary school students at the National Marine Aquarium on 11th September as part of Plymouth?s Marine Festival 2012.

The students will build a model of the second Severn Crossing, a 15-metre long, 3 metres high cable-stay bridge made from plywood and aluminium, as part of ICE?s work promoting careers in civil engineering to young people. The bridge will be loaned to the South West team by ICE Wales Cymru, which owns and maintains it.

The bridge is being brought to Plymouth thanks to Plymouth City Council, which has funded its transport from Wales to Plymouth. Assisted by ICE South West ambassadors from across the South West, it will be constructed three times throughout the day by students from Ford, Leigham and Shakespeare primary schools.

The project, which has been designed by ICE, travels around schools across the UK giving students aged 9 upwards the opportunity to experience civil engineering for themselves. Students consider all aspects of the project, from why bridges are needed (such as to allow us to travel over rivers and estuaries, hence the marine link), planning and materials, to construction and health and safety.

The National Marine Aquarium?s shed building will be treated as a construction site for the day, so all those involved with building and testing the bridge will wear hard hats and high visibility jackets. This will also be important for the teachers, who will be encouraged to test each bridge before students walk across!

Trish Johnson, Regional Director for ICE South West, said: ?Plymouth Marine Festival is a wonderful opportunity to bring the Bridge to Schools project to Plymouth and give local children the opportunity to experience civil engineering first-hand.

?Civil engineers keep society functioning by providing our vital infrastructure, including our transport links, water supply and structures such as bridges, amongst a multitude of other things. It is therefore essential that we spark a passion for civil engineering amongst the next generation and we hope that the Bridge to Schools will help us do just that.?