Around 600 Midlothian primary pupils are building their own mini version of the new bridge over the River Forth.
Promoted by the industry’s professional body, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the multi-agency initiative will see groups of up to 25 senior primary pupils from 12 schools in the county each build a model cable-bridge, similar in structure to the new bridge under construction. The pupils will then have the chance to walk across the bridge before dismantling the structure.
The first group of 22 P6 pupils from Tynewater Primary in Pathhead successfully built their bridge on Monday at the National Mining Museum Scotland in Newtongrange.
Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Catherine Johnstone (SNP), who attended the first session with Councillor Derek Rosie (SNP), chief executive Kenneth Lawrie and head of education Grace Vickers, said: “We’re absolutely delighted so many of our primary pupils are getting the chance to tackle such an exciting civil engineering challenge. We understand the project has been delivered in other parts of Scotland but with much smaller pupil numbers.
“Well done to all the agencies involved, from Midlothian Council to the Bonnyrigg-based Civil Engineering and Road Surfacing contractor Crummock and ICE, for working together to make these sessions happen.
“Pupils will learn so many valuable, hands-on lessons about working as a team. Hopefully, we might also inspire the pupils to consider a career in civil engineering.”
Crummock, Midlothian Council’s Roads Services team and ICE are delivering the hour-long sessions over two weeks at the museum.
During the first session on Monday, the Tynewater pupils were split into two teams of 11 to tackle everything from bolting the bridge base to testing the bridge’s strength.
Pupil Jasmine McLeod (9), said her favourite part of the sessions was “working as a team”. She added: “I’m from a family of engineers and being an engineer is definitely what I want to do as a career.”
David Duncan from Crummock, said: “It’s tremendous that so many Midlothian schools are keen to be involved.”