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Grand Design Test For Pupils

3 December 2009

Primary school pupils in Pembrokeshire were recently given a taste of the construction industry.

Eleven schools were invited to take part in a Grand Design challenge held at Prendergast primary school in Haverfordwest. Organised by Pembrokeshire County Council and Construction Skills and supported by Costain, the schools were set the challenge to construct a four meter high tetrahedron and the designing and building of a crane jib. The event aimed to give pupils a practical taste of construction skills, an insight of the industry and helped develop links between the community, businesses and schools.

Phil Baker, Costain Public Liaison Officer based at the A40 improvement project in Pembrokeshire, was on hand to give a presentation of the scheme to the youngsters and as a Construction Ambassador led the tetrahedron challenge. Phil commented that the children were eager to take part and listened intently to the safety instructions and the construction methods.

The crane challenge had been developed by Cambridge University and encouraged pupils to design, build and test a crane jib using rolled paper components, bolted together and tested on a rig. The testing of the jib was the highlight of the day with one kilogram bags of sugar used to load the construction.

This is the only event of its kind in Wales and was supported by a number of Construction Ambassadors, Cllr Huw George Pembrokeshire Cabinet member for Children, Young People, Learning and Welsh Language, said:
"The Grand Designs Event at Prendergast School was a challenging yet enjoyable day for all the pupils (and their teachers).

"The young peoples' determination shone through enabling many of them to complete the test successfully. They learnt so much as individuals and as teams and I know that they returned to their respective Schools with great pride.

"It would be beneficial to challenge Secondary School Pupils in the same way!

"Good Event - well organised - totally worthwhile."