More than 3,000 students, parents and teachers visited the Civil Engineers: Shaping the World stand at the UK Big Bang Fair last month.
The stand explained civil engineering’s role in the world and set out the diverse careers on offer in the profession.
The ICE teamed up with Mace, Morgan Sindall, Mott MacDonald, Galliford Try, the Institution of Structural Engineers, Bam Nuttall, Black & Veatch, Kier and Skanska to create the stand. Big Bang is the largest science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers event in the UK and this year attracted over 70,000 visitors. It started in 2009, initially attracting 6,500 people.
big bang students take part in tower building challenge
The ICE stand gave seven to 19 year olds the chance to learn more about water, energy and transport infrastructure through a number of interactive activities. Visitors also learned how the profession deals with waste, works underground and solves a range of engineering problems.
The popular “prop up Pisa” activity returned to the stand this year. For this, visitors were tasked with steadying the famous leaning tower. Students were also challenged to create the tallest Jenga tower, design the sturdiest bridge and create the most effective wind turbine. They also discovered how pedestrian movement affects the way infrastructure is designed, using Mott MacDonald’s STEPS pedestrian simulation tool.
Big Bang visitors also took part in the ICE’s new “Find the Civil Engineer within you” interactive quiz. The quiz establishes how and where participants would like to make a difference in the world, the type of working environment they prefer, what fascinates them as well as how they communicate with others and solve problems. It then suggests the civil engineering job that best suits their personality.
Mott MacDonald graduate civil engineer Jason Beltrame, a volunteer on the “Civil engineers: Shaping the world” stand, said: “Volunteering at the ICE stand is so far the highlight of my 2016; it was rewarding to have so many enthusiastic young people inquisitive about what I do.”