STEM competition details
The STEM led competition returned to encourage schools to use their skills and knowledge gained over the course of a 7-part programme to compete to build the most outstanding ‘Bridge to France’. The programme combined French celebrations, customs, culture, and language, with the discovery of the fascinating engineering involved in designing some of the most famous structures throughout France, e.g. the famous Eiffel Tower and the Millau Viaduct (the tallest bridge in the world)!
This year, the programme adopted a blended approach by integrating in-person and digital engagement for participants. Across thirteen NI schools, KS2 students and teachers were given the opportunity to engage with a French speaking language assistant and participate in activities designed to enhance their skills in STEM activities, delivered by W5. British Council staff liaised with teachers remotely and provided resources for teachers to establish more international links within their classrooms.
The ‘Bridge to France’ programme aims to create, and maintain global links within education, promote the importance of learning a foreign language and alternative culture, and to promote STEM skills by taking part in activities to create an engineering solution to real-time problems over a 12-week period.
Final Celebration Event at W5 on Thursday 9th March
Final celebrations took place at W5, where participating schools came together to present their bridges. Judged by a panel of three, the structures put together by each where tested on strength, engineering design and it’s links to France and every school didn’t fail to impress. On this occasion Millington came second place in heat 2, coming just 1 point behind the heat winners. Many congratulations to Bleary Ps, who reigned triumphant in heat 2.
Well done P7B!
Mrs Beggs’ class worked very hard to design and create a unique bridge design which featured eco-friendly solar panels to power all lighting for night time travellers, number plate detection cameras for more efficient ‘bridge use’ payments, suspension cables, 1.2m of road panels for more efficient maintenance and sturdy beams (incorporating support trusses) that helped the bridge to easily support more than 2kg of weight. The bridge was aptly named ‘La Connexion Européenne’ (The European Connection). Also a special mention to the creative team who built a lego ‘Eiffel Tower with a rotating French Flag’ and ‘Big Ben’, both being used to symbolise ‘The European Connection’.
Following the judging experience, the class got to explore W5 and take part in the many hands on STEM activities. They all had a great day! A big thank you to W5 and the British Council for organising the event.
. Design sheet
Team of 5, with the bridge, who answered the judges questions