School pupils became civil engineers as part of a challenge run by Downham Market Rotary.

A full day was set aside on Wednesday for pupils at All Saints Academy, Stoke Ferry, to team up and put their engineering skills to the test.

The challenge set was to build an animal bridge to be used in a nature reserve, wide enough for red squirrels to cross from one side of the path to the other to collect food, yet high enough to allow adults and children to walk under it.

Pupils from Year 5 and Year 6 were encouraged to form teams of four and given a short presentation on what it means to be a civil engineer and the types of structures the profession builds such as roads, tunnels, bridges and airports.

The Rotary Junior Technology tournament is an initiative designed to promote careers in engineering and calls on a combination of skills, including science, design, maths, teamwork, creativity, geography and problem solving.

Eight teams from All Saints Academy assembled to take on the challenge and were encouraged to take on key roles such as architect, structural engineer, materials engineer and value engineer.

The teams were provided with all necessary tools and materials and set to work creating bridges from paper, doweling, string, card, netting, cable ties and more.

The winning team was made up of Oliver McFegan, Jac Walters, Isabella Spencer and Harry French.

The four used string and the doweling to create suspension and build a bridge that was strong and well supported and used a camouflaged look to fit into the outdoors. All four were presented with medals by the rotary club and were congratulated for their intuitively planned design.

Headteacher Katherine Howe said: “This has been a fantastic experience for the students and we’re really proud of how they threw themselves into the challenge, working well as teams and calling on all of the knowledge they learn day in, day out in their classes. The bridges were all very good and the students got so much out of the day. We’re very thankful to Downham Market Rotary for bringing the tournament to the school. Congratulations to the winning team.”