10th April 2023

Primary School children get a lesson in ground engineering.

Earlier this month, colleagues visited schools in Leeds to educate and entertain over 160 children about ground engineering. Through the use STEM sessions the day hoped to attract and inspire them to consider their future in construction.

Over the course of two days Jono Wright, Senior Engineering Manager and Robert Crncan, Placement Student delivered eight sessions across two schools in partnership with Keltbray.

These sessions form part of our joint efforts on community engagement in the area. Where we are supporting the delivery of the M621 improvement scheme for National Highways.

Children began the sessions with a brief introduction to the role of an engineer and the importance of engineering in our daily lives.

They also learnt about various ground conditions and what’s best for building roads. This was then demonstrated through an interactive play session using fun materials such as jelly, sand, and Lego.

Creativity and logic were put to the test as the children explored what makes places easier or more difficult to build a road. As well as why sometimes it is necessary to build in difficult or costly places.

The children helped to engineer different solutions. In doing so “Bob” the Lego person could drive across the bridge safely, learning that different foundations are better in some circumstances than others.

They later explored slope stability. Since having recently learnt about friction and forces, this helped them to understand the inner workings of slope failure. Including how to engineer a safer design using piles or soil nails to keep Bob and the bridge safe. 

Hear from our Senior Ground Engineering Manager and the Senior Project Manager from National Highways

Jono Wright, Senior Engineering Manager said: “Inspiring the next generation is a key focus for our business. As well as having lots of fun, we hope these sessions gave the children an insight into a career in ground engineering and construction. Something they may have not considered before.

“It is important for us to encourage and inspire the next generation into STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Maths), helping them to see what they could achieve.

“Presenting memorable learning experiences like this will help create a lasting impression at a key age and hopefully inspire them before deciding their futures.”

Chris Musgrave, National Highways Senior Project Manager, said: “Supporting the next generation of engineers is really important to National Highways. We’re delighted to see the M621 improvement scheme not only create better journeys for Leeds. But also help young people realise their potential and tap into their creative and STEM skills. We may even see some of them working with us on the roads of the future.”

Stuart Culley, Customer and Social Value Lead for Keltbray Highways said:

“As part of our ongoing outreach on the M621 improvement scheme, we’re committed to engaging with local schools and colleges.  We are proud of the work we’re doing to improve the road network around Leeds.  It’s exciting to think of the potential that these young people have. We’re sure that our engagement will have inspired them to think about careers in engineering.”

Ground engineering