School trip highlights everyday engineering

A group of schoolchildren has been inspired to become the civil engineers of tomorrow.

Almost 40 six and seven-year-olds were taken on an engineering tour of Rochester’s Old Bridge, followed up by bridge building activities at their school, provided by the Rochester Bridge Trust.

Mrs Ruth Gooch, Deputy Head of St Nicholas CofE Infants School in Strood commented: “Many of the children regularly cross Rochester’s bridges, so this field trip was a great opportunity to make them more aware of their everyday surroundings and experience engineering in action.

“To then be visited in the classroom by the Trust’s education team was a great way to follow up the learning they’d seen in a practical way.”

The tour was run by one of the engineers responsible for the bridge, Phillippa Spencer of Arcadis, giving the children the opportunity to meet and talk to a real-life role model.

Phillippa said: “It’s never too soon to encourage children to think about the activities they like to do, and so I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to these enthusiastic youngsters and to share my love of engineering with them.”

The following day, members of the Trust’s education team visited the school to host a series of workshops. These included simple briefings and a bridge building challenge with their families.

Education Officer Caroline Chisholm added: “Nothing beats hands-on activities for encouraging children’s enthusiasm and helping them to learn. It was a pleasure to run these workshops and see the youngsters’ understanding develop. I feel certain we’ve inspired some very promising future bridge builders at St Nicholas school.”

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