STEM pupils build bridge to success

A primary school in Cramlington ran a construction event last week, with pupils taking on a range of challenges, such as building a 40ft suspension bridge.

Children at Northburn Primary School put their skills to the test during their STEM week, which focused on science, technology, engineering and maths, as the name suggests.

The construction-based challenges, which were all around designing and constructing bridges, encouraged the children to develop important life skills, such as thinking creatively, evaluating and expressing their ideas with practical materials.

One of the pupils at Northburn said: “I’ve enjoyed STEM week because it was great working together and listening to other people’s ideas to solve problems.”

Teachers assisted along the way, helping the children to accept that false starts and wrong turns are all part of the learning process, and that it is often necessary to revise, test and redesign.

Year 5 and Year 6 pupils also had the opportunity to work in teams with engineers from contractors Bam Nuttall to construct a 13metre long suspension bridge model in the school hall.

Another pupils said: “I have enjoyed working as a team, using different ideas to make things and evaluate it as we go along. Also, I like trying to make things using only the limited amount of resources we had, because there were a lot of different kinds of designs.”

The bridge kit was provided by the Institution of Civil Engineers North East.