15 February 2011
An engineering expert from WYG has been providing students from Titus Salt School, Bradford an introduction to civil engineering as they design and build bridges out of spaghetti.
A part of the school’s ‘Personal Development Day’, the aim of the bridge building challenge was to design and build a model of a new bridge for a local park. The students also gained analytical and problem solving skills whilst learning the importance of team work as they dealt with a problem related to the real world.
Matthew Brayfield from WYG and a schools ambassador for the Institution of Civil Engineers, gave 60 students an insight into the civil engineering profession and the types of projects civil engineers undertake, before using examples of well-known bridges to discuss the key features of various types and also examples of when things occasionally don’t go to plan.
Speaking after the lesson, Matthew said: “When I was approached by Titus Salt School, following on from a previous involvement at another school, I was delighted to be able to use my experiences from working on varied projects at WYG to help educate potential engineers of tomorrow.
“It was great to see the students engaging in the design, construction and presentation activities whilst I provided my expert opinion.”
The students, aged between 12 – 13 years, set to work designing and building their bridges from the advice Matthew gave. Once completed each group presented to the rest of the class highlighting key features and how they worked together to achieve the end result.
Sana Ahmad, Head of Business and Economics, Titus Salt School said: “Our personal development days are an innovative way of providing students with an introduction to the world of work and some of the career options that are available to them.
“From the experience Matthew holds in civil engineering the students gained a great deal of knowledge on the fundamentals of this profession. The budding engineers really showed how they grasped what he was teaching with the great designs they produced. We look forward to working with Matthew and WYG again in the future.”
Matthew helped judge the winners and prizes were awarded for teamwork, strongest bridge, best looking bridge and best presentation.
Photo caption: Students of Titus Salt School building their bridges