School’s “Baker” day with a difference

More than 200 girls discovered how a Baker’s creation managed to get a train across the Firth of Forth during a day of activities hosted by the Rochester Bridge Trust.

The Year 9 pupils at Invicta Grammar School in Maidstone were taking part in a STEM day, with science, technology, engineering and maths the focus of a series of activity sessions.

Caroline Chisholm, Education Manager at the Rochester Bridge Trust, explained: “The girls soon realised we weren’t talking about a baker in the conventional sense, as we demonstrated the designs of civil engineer Benjamin Baker, who created the striking cantilever crossing known as the Forth Bridge.

“It was great to see them engaging with our demonstration before using their own civil engineering skills to design and build smaller versions of cantilever bridges using planka and hex nuts. It was the first event we’ve run at the school and we were really pleased to see how enthusiastic and willing the participants were.”

A cantilever bridge is built using structures that project horizontally, supported at one end – so the planka can extend outwards providing there are enough hex nuts to balance the weight at the support.

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