CASE STUDY: BUILDING BRIDGES IN BLAIRGOWRIE HIGH SCHOOL
Blairgowrie High School
S1 pupils and BAM Nuttall and Perth & Kinross Council Cross Tay Link Road team
‘‘It is important that we get into schools early to outline to pupils the range of careers available in construction and engineering. If we wait until they are older, they may not have made the right subject choices that the industry needs.
‘Carrying out fun, informative tasks like this is an ideal way of engaging an interest to go and find out more, and it is a vital piece in the pipeline for securing new talent across the dozens of different job opportunities we can offer,’ Sarah Johnson, Assistant Civil Engineer, BAM Nuttall.
Skilled workers are in short supply in the construction industry with one of the problems being that employers need to be more proactive in reaching out to younger people to outline the depth and range of career opportunities available in the industry. Perth & Kinross Council and BAM Nuttall want to change this.
Pupils will be introduced to the industry through the Institution of Civil Engineers' approved Bridge Build Challenge, assisting them to make informed decisions when choosing subjects to study potential careers.
As part of the Cross Tay Link Road project, construction professionals from BAM Nuttall and Perth & Kinross Council supervised the construction of a 500 mm bridge made from paper, string and tape. The bridge was weight-bearing and had to span a 500 mm gap between two desks.
After being briefed on the task, the pupils were split into groups to design, build and test their structure under the watchful eye of the visiting construction professionals.
More than 140 S1 pupils took part in the challenge with innovative solutions that even some engineers never thought of. The challenge is being rolled out to schools across the area throughout the duration of the Cross Tay Link Road project.
The Cross Tay Link Road is phase two of the Perth Transport Futures project, which will deliver a more efficient and better-connected transport system and a cleaner city centre environment.