Sue Threader, a professional civil engineer and Bridge Clerk to the historic Rochester Bridge Trust, has been passing on her skills to pupils at Benedict House Preparatory School, Sidcup.
Mrs Threader has been running an after-school club on bridge building for the pupils sharing her enthusiasm for engineering and construction.
“We took a really hands-on approach, and the group were very enthusiastic and very keen to learn more, ” said Mrs Threader. I am hopeful that many of the pupils will continue to take an active interest in engineering, the science that supports it and the many challenges that are just waiting for our future engineers to tackle. I am confident that they will certainly be taking a closer look at all the structures that they see around them and will be thinking much more about how and why they work.”
The club has been so successful that Mrs Threader has been asked by the school to provide another bridge building programme for the school in the Autumn term.
The Rochester Bridge Trust is currently inviting other primary schools to apply for a grant to set up similar after-school activities to encourage an interest in civil engineering. Details can be found on the grants section of the website.
The Rochester Bridge Trust has provided a crossing over the River Medway at Rochester at no cost to the public since the end of the 16th century. The Trust is also committed to encouraging students of all ages to consider engineering as an exciting and rewarding career choice.
Mrs Threader said: “The scope and resilience of all our infrastructure today, and in the future, are totally dependent on our having high quality engineers available.
“There is a national shortage of trained engineers. Too often young people are not really aware what a career in engineering entails and the many industries, across a wide range of sectors, that rely on engineering excellence.
“We are raising awareness of the many opportunities available to young people with an interest in the profession so that they can ensure they focus on the right school subjects – such as maths and sciences – to enable them to study engineering at the highest levels.”
1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.
2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.
For more information:
The Rochester Bridge Trust
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125