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Big Bang Classroom Challenge opens

The ICE has launched a UK-wide competition designed to help school children aged between eight and 16 years old learn about civil engineering and sustainability in building design.

Big Bang

Keen to learn: The Design, Create, Solve, ­Innovate stand at the Big Bang fair

The Big Bang Civil Engineering Classroom Challenge is organised in conjunction with Class of Your Own, the Gaelic Athletics Association (GAA) and Mott MacDonald.

It tasks school children with devising a way to turn the Casement Park stadium in Belfast into an emergency shelter for 500 hurricane victims.

They will also have to produce a newspaper report explaining how they achieved this.

The children, aided by a civil engineering mentor, will have to complete the challenge in the mind-set of the year 2064 - 50 years from now.

Prizes include a 3D printer from Ultimaker and a design masterclass from Mott MacDonald for the winning school.

Topcon will also supply three runners-up prizes of measurement bundles which include a digital level, staff and tripod, a ­laser distance meter, measurement wheels and tapes.

The Classroom Challenge follows on from the 2014 Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC last month, which was attended by a record 75,000 people, including more than 70,000 young people, teachers and parents.

Over 200 organisations from across government, business, education and industry came together to inspire the UK’s future scientists and engineers, and the “Design, Create, Solve, ­Innovate” stand - a joint venture between the ICE, Arup, Balfour Beatty, Mott MacDonald, Skanska UK and Taylor Woodrow (Vinci UK) - engaged with over 1,500 visitors.

Activities and tasks on the civil engineering stand included Mott MacDonald’s STEPS pedestrian modelling tool and Skanska’s Mission Cube - an immersive video experience used for health and safety training.

There was also an augmented reality model of Casement Park stadium which is set to transform the GAA site in West Belfast into a new state of the art stadium.

  • Closing date for entries to the Classroom Challenge is 1 July 2014. To enter, email your school’s details to for more information and to be matched up with a civil engineer mentor. Civil engineers who would like to be a mentor should also email For further information on the challenge go to

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