Building Bridges In Wales

20 January 2015

Costain engineers working on the A465 Heads of the Valleys widening project in Wales recently arranged for a prefabricated model suspension bridge to be taken to a local school, giving pupils an opportunity to test their bridge building skills.

The event was organised by Howell’s School in Llandaff (GDST) and supported by Costain, which is the principal contractor for Section 2 of the A465 Heads of the Valleys widening project.

The prefabricated model suspension bridge, which belongs to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), was taken to Howell’s School, which also invited pupils from nearby Herbert Thompson Primary School to take part in the ‘Bridges to School’ event.

The ‘Bridges to School’ project was created by the Institute of Civil Engineers Wales (ICE) and is currently being managed by Construction Skills. Pupils are able to build, walk across and deconstruct the bridge, all while learning about bridges and civil engineering.

Over 100 pupils in Year 3 helped to combine their practical talents to build the 12 metre long and 3 metre high cable-stayed bridge, which is the same general design as the Second Severn Crossing. The exercise also involved learning about health and safety and developing team-building skills.

Mrs Ashill, Head of Juniors at Howell’s School, said: ‘This is the second year we have been fortunate enough to secure support to bring the bridge to the school and to expose our pupils to the experience of bridge building. This year we thought we would share the experience and invited a neighbouring primary school to share in the event. The feedback from the pupils and staff has been outstanding and the experience certainly helps with the delivery of the National STEM agenda (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).”

Costain’s Dave Randall, a Commercial Manager, added: “We received a request to help the school and were pleased that we reached so many pupils. The bridge needs a large area to fully construct and not all schools have the facilities. Sharing the facilities at Howell’s certainly worked on this occasion and allowed us to reach many more pupils.”





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