The Rochester Bridge Trust charity has created key stage 2-level education packs on civil engineering which have been welcomed by the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Comprising 12 lesson plans, the books and associated website encourage youngsters to get involved with bridge building, trying out different techniques and thinking about the engineering challenges involved, guided by mascot Langdon the Lion.
As part of his enthusiasm for finding out more about civil engineering and to help launch the education materials, Langdon recently visited bridges along the river Thames and across Kent, as well as popping into the Institution of Civil Engineers to meet its new president, David Balmforth.
Rochester Bridge Trust’s Sue Threader explained: “As well as maintaining the bridges at Rochester and supporting the provision of other crossings along the River Medway, we also have a commitment to encourage young people to learn about civil engineering.
“These lesson plans – which are ideal for after school clubs or for use by families – are a fun way of doing just that, and with the help of Langdon the Lion we feel certain children will enjoy taking a hands-on approach to exploring bridge building.”
The materials were written by Mrs Threader, a qualified civil engineer, with design by the Guy Fox History Project, a specialist educational charity.
Professor Balmforth added: “I was very pleased to meet with Langdon at my offices in London. It is important that we encourage the next generation of civil engineers, and fun educational materials such as those produced by Rochester Bridge Trust help to engage young minds. I’m confident Langdon will make bridges fun for children and inspire them to think about building their own creations in the future.”
Langdon, the friendly character who guides children through the activities, is inspired by the lion statues which sit on Rochester Old Bridge. His name is taken from Langdon Manor Farm, one of the original properties bequeathed to the trust, which dates from 1399.