Lanark Primary School bridge building 2014 Slideshow

LANARK school children have been learning how to build bridges in an initiative run by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Lanark Primary hosted the three-day event and its pupils, plus those from St Mary’s and New Lanark Primary, learned how to construct a 12 metre-long cable-stayed bridge which they were then able to walk across.

Bridging the skills gap...in engineering is all part of the Bridges to School workshops, one of which was enjoyed by these Lanark Primary School pupils (Pics by James Clare)

Bridging the skills gap...in engineering is all part of the Bridges to School workshops, one of which was enjoyed by these Lanark Primary School pupils (Pics by James Clare)

They were assigned their own tasks, some on the cables, others on the pins and some on the deck, and made their bridges take shape.

“They loved it, they really did,” said Lanark Primary teacher Clare Carroll.

“Every time I went in, the children were so engaged; you couldn’t hear a peep out of them!”

Hazel Wilson, Glasgow and West of Scotland Pre-19 co-ordinator, supported the children who were instructed by volunteers from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Bridge to Schools aims to raise the awareness of engineering among young people and to encourage them to see it as a possible future career.

By taking part in the hands-on bridge building, the ICE hope to encourage young people into engineering careers by demonstrating that engineering is part of everyday life, from the phones young people use, to the shoes they wear and the music they listen to.

“With fewer children studying maths and sciences, we face the very real prospect of an engineering skills shortage in the near future,” said Clare.

“Schemes such as Bridges to Schools encourage children to try their hand at exciting projects and potentially inspire them to choose engineering as a career.”

And Hazel reported that the girls seemed particularly interested in a future in engineering.

Two classes of Lanark Primary children are also visiting the new crossing being constructed beside the Forth Bridges as part of the programme.

Freelance photographer James Clare was on hand to capture the action for the Gazette and his pictures are featured in our slideshow, created by editor Julie Currie. James’ pictures can also be purchased on the Buy It Now section of this website.