School’s “Baker” day with a difference

Year 7 pupils discovered how a Baker’s creation managed to get a train across the Firth of Forth during activities hosted by the Rochester Bridge Trust.

Pupils at Chatham Grammar School were taking part in a Careers-focus day, with both hands-on activity sessions and visitors from a number of sectors.

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 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.”

English teacher Hannah Keers, who accompanied her class to the session, commented: “An alternative career viewpoint for the girls at Chatham Grammar. What a wonderful way to show that girls can be engineers too!”

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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