Scaling the Heights

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in News | No Comments

Assemblies at community school during the week of 21st – 28th October were led by two teachers who accepted an invitation back in July to climb to the top of the Brunel rail bridge, learning more about its potential as an excellent resource for the teaching of subjects linked to engineering along the way.

Teacher of Design Technology, Chris Wells, and Teacher of Science, Grant Taylor, shared with students why they had jumped at the chance to find out more about the bridge and what it felt like climbing new heights to view the town and community of Saltash.

Grant Taylor was so moved by the visit, he said, ‘Twice a day I drive past the bridge and have to focus on the road rather than drifting off into the memory of our awesome experience. I look at the bridge with new respect and understanding and will forever say, “I stood on top of that.’

Chris Wells said, “Gaining more insight and perspective of the bridge was important to me as an Art teacher and teacher of Design Technology.  First, because it was an opportunity to do something few of us will ever be able to do; secondly, out of curiosity and the search for inspiration for ideas to paint. It was also to help gain information that may encourage students to aspire to become the Engineers and Designers of tomorrow. I found the experience an awesome step back in history and was reminded that the Brunel Bridge is one of the great engineering successes of this country. I gained an insight into Civil Engineering and the level of physics needed to calculate things like torque and loads with beams, trusses and more. We took over 200 photos each and even collected some souvenirs that we have shared with students and staff.”

The event was organised by local resident Richard Bickford, Chair of the Saltash Rail Users’ group, and Natalie Wills, Institution of Civil Engineers South West, to whom many thanks are expressed.