Pupils from St Peter’s Collegeland Primary School have won a bridge-building competition in the latest education programme from the Blackwater Regional Partnership.
The children, aged between 10 and 12, were among hundreds of pupils from 8 primary schools who participated in the project which is designed to develop science, technology, engineering and maths skills by interesting kids in the history of bridges and the skills associated with bridge building.
The winning team from St Peter’s Collegeland scooped the ‘Hughes Trophy’, presented by Hughes Mushrooms which has been supporting the programme, at a final bridge-building contest. Kieran Hughes said:
“Our office is based in the old station master’s house for Moy & Trew station. My father was the last stationmaster when the line was closed in February 1965, so this is an important part of the Blackwater region’s local history and heritage and we’re delighted to be able to invite children to visit the old station premises”.
The project was funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by the Blackwater Regional Partnership which is made up of Mid Ulster District Council, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and Monaghan County Council.
Councillor Frances Burton, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council’s Development Committee, said:
“While the competition was an engineering challenge, the children had to design their bridge based on one of five basic bridge designs. They had examples of all five bridge designs using local bridges between Maghery and Caledon. The River Blackwater is a treasure trove of rich built heritage as illustrated in our range of bridges over the River Blackwater. We even have our own suspension bridge design in the beautiful “Dredge footbridge” at Caledon”.
Mr Jim McAlinden, Principal of St Peter’s Collegeland organised the event to get children excited and interested in science and maths. He said:
“The STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths are increasingly important for the future careers of our young people. It is great to get support from local businesses and the Blackwater Regional Partnership to make learning fun and linked to the engineering feats and rich built heritage on our doorstep”
Ms Gillian McGrath District Inspector with the new Education Authority attended the event and was delighted to see local councils, schools and businesses working together to support learning in local schools.
The eight participating schools were:
Orchard County PS Loughgall, Moy Regional PS, St Joseph’s Caledon, St Peters PS Collegeland, St John’s Kingsisland, Roan St Patrick’s Eglish, St Mary’s Maghery, St Jarlath’s Blackwatertown.
Anyone who would like to know more about the work of the Blackwater Regional Partnership should contact Chris McCarney on 07788 249517.