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Civil engineering reaches Alpine heights

A team of schoolgirls has taken away the top prize in this year’s ICE & SNOW competition, which sees engineers and schoolchildren travel to the French Alps for an educational ski trip.

The annual event combines skiing with civil engineering, and while it sounds like a lot of fun, it has a serious goal − to promote civil engineering as a career choice.

ICE organiser Richard Armstrong said the scheme is all about changing perceptions: “The view that civil engineers are boring and unexciting is dated and not at all true. We are trying to change this by engaging with children at an early age, showing them it can be fun and hopefully encouraging some of them to consider it as a career prospect.”

The challenge

In this year’s competition teams were asked to find the slowest way possible to transport a marble to the base of a mountain they had constructed earlier. It also had to cover the longest distance possible.

The winning team included pupils from Sheffield High School, Yorkshire, Old Vicarage School, Derby, and Angley School and Sutton Valence Schools in Kent.

Team leader Megan Charles from Aecom said the secret to the girls’ success was their exceptional team work:”The girls listened, used initiative and they had immense enthusiasm. They left feeling incredibly engaged with the possibilities engineering offers them.”

ICE & SNOW has been running for seven years. It is supported by the ICE and sponsored by Aecom, Ove Arup, and Jackson Civil Engineering.

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