Building Bridges to STEM Careers

10 May 2018 | Construction & the Building Trades, Employers

Teams of Plymouth school children were keeping everyone in ‘suspense’ as the competed against the clock to construct a 12-metre-long suspension bridge.

Over 90 pupils from across the City took part in the ‘Bridges to Schools’ project held at City College Plymouth. The young people had to work together to build a structurally stable cable-stayed bridge in under an hour.

Students were challenged to design, create, solve and innovate to successfully complete the task. Louise Daniel from Institution of Civil Engineers said: “This project is more than simply learning about bridges and engineering, it helps students to experience and appreciate the many industry roles found in civil engineering – from project managers to fixers.

“Workshops like these highlight the importance of working as a team; it shows how to take on responsibility and enables students to understand the importance of seeing a project through to its final outcome. It has been fantastic to work with City College Plymouth to engage young people and encourage an interest in civil engineering.”

Andy Robinson, STEM Hub Officer at City College said: “This event has been a great success, with all of the groups completing the bridge and working effectively in teams. As a STEM professional, it is great to involve young people in: learning about the science behind the materials, working out the maths by counting, calculating, and estimating; the use of technology in the planning; and, obviously, engineering.
“At the College, we are dedicated to engaging with the local community and always strive to inspire and encourage our future workforce. ‘Bridges to Schools’ is yet another excellent example of the positive activity that we can undertake to inspire and educate the next generation of STEM experts.”
As 2018 is the Year of Engineering and marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), many events are taking place up and down the country to challenge stereotypes and raise awareness of the sector. ‘Bridges to Schools’ aims promote the importance of STEM and careers in civil engineering.

With 203,000 skilled recruits required each year until 2024 and a 56,000 annual shortfall of engineering graduates, there has never been a better time to find out about a career in engineering. For more information about courses, Apprenticeships or careers in the industry, visit or attend the Course Information Drop-in on Wednesday 16 May, 4.30pm to 6.30pm at Kings Road.

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