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Schools project wins Telford award

The final Spirit of Telford award of Quentin Leiper's presidency was presented to Bridges to Schools co-ordinator John McPartlin at the Glasgow and West of Scotland dinner by incoming president David Orr at the end of November.

Bridges to Schools is an initiative aimed at encouraging school children to take an interest in civil engineering.

The outgoing president had expressly requested that his successor make the award marking a transition from Leiper's Spirit of Telford theme to that of Orr's Unsung Heroes.

McPartlin's tireless work on the Bridges to Schools project in Glasgow and the West of Scotland over the past four years has resulted a 12m cable-stay bridge demonstrated, constructed and deconstructed by over 10,000 school children of all ages across the country.

Working with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network (STEMNET), ICE in the West of Scotland is tapping into a source potential young engineers that was previously inaccessible.

Engineering firms are being encouraged to send their graduate employees on construction ambassador courses which should the see the see scheme rolled out further as the number of engineers with the necessary accreditation to work in schools increases.

The success of the project is now being mimicked in Wales and Northern Ireland as these regions have successfully launched their own Bridges to Schools projects.

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