Young children are now able to discover the appeal of engineering thanks to a free education initiative launched at the national Big Bang Fair.
Junior Technology Tournaments are a nationwide challenge to get children thinking about engineering and have been developed by the Rochester Bridge Trust in partnership with Rotary Great Britain and Ireland.
Aileen White, Education Officer at the Rochester Bridge Trust, explained: “We have produced a complete set of primary level education materials that can be used by Rotary clubs all over the country to open young children’s eyes to the possibilities of engineering through hands-on activities.
“This is an exciting next step in our efforts to support and inspire engineering education.”
The Junior Technology Tournament challenge packs include instructions for organisers, on-the-day teaching materials and all the guidance children and adults will require for a successful event.
Aileen added: “The only things that need to be provided by participants are a selection of readily available classroom materials, some responsible adults and a room full of enthusiastic youngsters.”
The initiative is inspired by the success of the Rotary’s existing Senior Technology Tournaments, where children aged 11 and over take part in previously unseen engineering challenges as part of a national competition.
Eve Conway, President of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland explained: “Our Technology Tournaments, facilitated by local Rotary clubs across the country, have become a great success. We are now thrilled to be able to offer this junior version, which has been made possible by working with the Rochester Bridge Trust.”
The Junior Technology Tournaments were launched by the Trust’s education mascot Langdon the Lion, in March on the first day of the national Big Bang Fair, at Birmingham NEC. As well as the launch, two days of bridge building activities were provided in the main arena, giving youngsters of all ages a taste of the appeal of civil engineering.
See www.rochesterbridgetrust.org.uk to find out more about the Trust’s engineering education initiatives, or go to www.rotarygbi.org for information about the Rotary Club’s youth competitions.