The Mersey Gateway Project

High school students get a lesson in bridge building from Mersey Gateway graduates

March 17, 2017Chris SealeyNews

Students from schools in Halton have been gaining specialist skills in science, technology, engineering and maths from Mersey Gateway experts.

Students from St Chad’s School in Runcorn and The Prescot School in Liverpool took part in specialist sessions with Mersey Gateway graduate civil engineers, as part of an initiative by Merseylink to share expertise with local children.

The budding engineers from the schools’ Year 8, 9 and 10 year groups, listened to presentations from Rosey Thurling and John Wen, both graduate civil engineers with Merseylink.

Rosey and Jon spoke about how they had come into civil engineering from different routes, Rosey via university, and John, through working as an apprentice and then going into further education.

Following the introduction, students were tasked with building their own bridges, and testing them to see which was the strongest, with prizes awarded for the best.

Dr Gavin McNeill, STEM coordinator at St Chad’s, said: “The chance for year 9 and 10 pupils to hear about STEM careers from people currently working on a local engineering project allowed them to learn important information for future career opportunities.”

Natasha Anderson, a Year 10 pupil studying triple science subjects at St Chad’s, said: “I didn’t think the presentation would be as interesting as it was. It is something I will look into. I didn’t think women were allowed to work in engineering and construction.”

Fellow pupil Freya Atkins, said: “It was really good to hear about the different routes you can take to get into a career in engineering.”

Gareth Stuart, Project Director at Merseylink, said the sharing of skills gained by the graduate engineers with local students, was a great way to inspire the next generation to pursue a career in STEM subjects.

“The Merseylink Consortium brings together UK expertise with world leaders in major bridge building and highways projects, to combine technology and best practice specifically for this project,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to be able to share this and industry experience with the aspiring engineers of the future.”

This week marks British Science Week (March 10-19), a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, and features events and activities across the UK to promote STEM subjects.

The Mersey Gateway Project is one of the biggest infrastructure schemes currently underway in the UK.