News

Pupils learning from A96 dualling

Published: 15 May 2018 15:48

STEM skills through road building

Around 90 pupils from 10 local primary schools attended an event today in the Inverness Leisure Centre to celebrate the success of Transport Scotland’s schools engagement programme on the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme.

The Scottish Government is investing in and committed to ensuring Scotland has a highly educated and skilled population equipped with the Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills, knowledge and capability required to adapt and thrive in a fast-paced changing world and economy.

As part of this commitment the A96 Dualling schools engagement programme has seen a number of teachers from local schools being trained in the necessary skills to enthuse and inspire children to enter or take an interest in the professions associated with the delivery of the A96 Dualling.  The programme involves a series of progressive and linked exercises increasing in complexity depending on the pupils’ ages and skill levels with the emphasis on engineering, linked to real engineers and engineering projects.

Today’s event let local school children present their projects to a judging panel from Transport Scotland’s design consultants Jacobs UK Ltd. Prizes were awarded to the winning teams in different categories. Building on the success of last year’s schools engagement, this year’s programme saw 23 teachers and their classes taking part in a project to design a car model. Training has been delivered to primary school teachers by specialist educational supplier Primary Engineer. Engineers from Jacobs UK Ltd have assisted with presentations, Q&A sessions and class projects.

Keith Brown Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work said:  

“As well as upgrading the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen to dual carriageway, this Government recognises the importance of benefitting the communities who live along the route as we design and build the new road.  

“It is fitting in the Year of Young People that our schools engagement is leaving a legacy for the future, training teachers to deliver a programme for pupils in local schools which helps them develop an interest in engineering. This year it is very encouraging that the team has reached around 540 local school children, more than double the number reached last year, with presentations, mentoring and participation in the car model projects.

“The fact that engineers from Transport Scotland and the design consultants working on the A96 Dualling Programme are taking the time to offer their expertise will help inspire the children to consider being the engineers of the future.”

Lise McCaffery, Regional Director for Primary Engineer, expressed her delight with the project outcomes.

“Primary Engineer is an organisation working to promote engineering skills and careers with young people across Scotland. We are delighted to have partnered with Transport Scotland in our second year of delivery of programmes with Highland schools and see the impact its making.”