Children can never be too young to take an interest in civil engineering, which is why a group from a nursery school was invited for an explore and play session with the Rochester Bridge Trust.
Eight pre-school aged youngsters (and their adults!) from Castle View Nursery met an education officer and an engineer at the Strood end of the bridge, where their exploration began.
The group walked across the Old Bridge, where they looked at the different animals and other decorative items on the bridge as well as identifying the structural shapes. Along the way they discussed the traffic – on wheel and foot – and why we need this and other bridges. The ongoing Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project was also a topic of conversation, as the group learned about safety and some of the works taking place to maintain this historic structure.
One of the Trust’s civil engineers, Josh Fletcher, said: “Many of the children were already familiar with the bridges, but like adults they see them as part of their journey, rather than really looking at the structures. It was great to draw their attention to the shapes of the Old Bridge, encouraging them to think about the significance of civil engineering in their everyday lives.
“The children were incredibly receptive and I enjoyed viewing the bridge through their eyes.”
Once their exploration was complete, the group headed to the Guildhall Museum, where the Trust hosted a private bridge play session. Among the activities on offer were dressing up as an engineer, building with cardboard boxes and foam construction bricks, and challenges to design their own bridges. The session ended with the story of Three Billy Goats Gruff, which was told with the help of a family of puppets and a model bridge.
Alison Laker from Castle View Nursery said: “The children had an amazing time and we all enjoyed this fun learning experience. We’re grateful to the Rochester Bridge Trust for arranging this morning of activities, which we are certain will have made a difference to the youngsters’ long-term interest in science and engineering.”