I was interested in the Debate article regarding Lego and Meccano (NCE 9/16 August).
Surely the key is that young people develop an interest in construction from an early age and that they have a 'feel' for material and constructional form.
Both formats have their advantages and allow youngsters to develop their understanding through experimentation. Pushing materials to their limits, after all, usually starts well before graduation and it is probably a good thing that engineers experience structural failure in the safety of the toy box.
I am a firm fan of the little coloured bricks. I have a set which regularly visits schools and colleges where it is a valuable tool for demonstrating the advantages and limitations of a variety of construction forms from bridges to cranes.
Without these construction toys we would likely have fewer engineers, so play on!
Andy Fewtrell (F), managing director, The Up & Under Group andy@upandundergroup. com