STEM Civil Engineering Workshops


On Monday 29 February and Tuesday 1st March, 120 of our students had the opportunity to take part in a bridge-building challenge led by a group of professional engineers from Peter Brett Associates (PBA). Hosted by our neighbours at the UTC, the sessions gave students the chance to understand the role of a civil engineer.

Following a health and safety briefing, students put on their hard hats, hi-vis jackets, gloves and eye protectors (all kindly supplied by Kier, our building contractors) and were divided into two teams. They had just 45 minutes to complete the challenge of building and testing a 12m cable-stayed bridge, guided by PBA’s civil engineers.

The students had to work together as a team and each student had a specific role and job to do. The two teams constructed the ‘north’ and ‘south’ ends of the bridge. Fortunately, it met in the middle! Once built, the students were able to test the bridge; each student walking across and no-one falling off.

These special workshops were offered as part of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Bridges to Schools programme, designed to introduce students to the real world context of engineering and to support schools in promoting STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The sessions concluded with an excellent discussion about careers in engineering and the opportunity for our students to ask questions of the engineers.

Mr Johnson, Assistant Headteacher said, “This was an excellent event and gave our students tremendous insight to the world of civil engineering. I know for a number of them, this stirred real interest and can only spur them on to aspire to these highly skilled careers in the future”.

Quotes from some our students:

“It was great to not just learn about engineering but to do it”

“I couldn’t believe the bridge worked!”

“I didn’t really know what a civil engineer did, but now I do.”

“I might be an engineer when I leave school”

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