Girls get insight into engineering at new Sunderland bridge site

(from left) pupils Rachel Marshall and Amy Keeley, from Monkwearmouth Academy, Coun Paul Watson, pupil Kay Lindsay, and senior site engineer Amy Wright.
(from left) pupils Rachel Marshall and Amy Keeley, from Monkwearmouth Academy, Coun Paul Watson, pupil Kay Lindsay, and senior site engineer Amy Wright.
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Girls from two Sunderland schools have been given an insight into the possibilities of a career in engineering.

Female year nine students from Monkwearmouth Academy and The Venerable Bede Academy visited the site of the New Wear Crossing as part of National Women In Engineering Day.

It’s been great to have the girls on site and involved in some of the things we do.

Amy Wright

The event, organised as part of this year’s Work Discovery Week programme, saw pupils participate in a range of activities including the chance to take part in bridge constructing exercises, along with engineering tasks on site, including measuring heights and positions using a GPS receiver and a dumpy level.

Precision Geomatics, based in Sunderland, provided the surveying equipment and helped with the running of the day with staff from Farrans Construction.

Amy Keeley, 13, from Monkwearmouth Academy in Sunderland, said: “We were offered the chance to come to the bridge construction site and I jumped at it.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s surprised me. I don’t know what I want to do when I’m older, but I will certainly think about engineering now.”

And Kay Lindsay, 14, also from Monkwearmouth, said: “I wasn’t sure what I would find when I got to the New Wear Crossing site, but it’s been a great day. The bridge construction project we took part in was definitely the best bit.

“I think it would be really interesting to be an engineer and work on a construction site.”

Amy Wright is a Senior Site Engineer for Farrans Construction: “I’m passionate about the job I do, and feel very fortunate to be involved in the construction of Sunderland’s amazing new bridge, so it’s been great to have the girls on site and involved in some of the things we do,” she said.

“Engineering is a fabulous career, with so many opportunities for both young men and women, so I really hope we have given them something to think about.”

Sunderland City Council Leader Coun Paul Watson said: “It was a real pleasure to watch these young women get involved in engineering tasks, and see their enthusiasm and interest.

“We are always looking for talented and bright engineers who can play an integral role in shaping and building our communities of the future, so hopefully this has whet their appetite and they realise they can develop careers in this field.”