School pupils had a go at becoming engineers for the day as part of a challenge run by Downham Market Rotary.

The event took place this week at St Martin at Shouldham Primary Academy, part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust, where students were tasked with building a bridge.

Groups of Year 6 pupils took on the challenge to create an animal bridge to be used in nearby nature reserve, Shouldham Warren.

The construction had to be wide enough for 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.

Teams of four were 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.

Downham Market Rotarian Alan Culley said: “This is a brilliant challenge designed to develop team building and communication skills and apply them to a technology-based problem. The pupils did a very good job and built some excellent structures. Congratulations to the winners.”

The challenge called on a combination of skills, including science, design, maths, teamwork, creativity, geography and problem solving.

The teams were encouraged to take on key roles such as architect, structural engineer, materials engineer and value engineer and were all praised for their efforts.

The Rotary Junior Technology Tournament is an initiative designed to promote careers in engineering and give pupils an idea of all of the elements involved.

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 young engineers came up with a range of structures to impress the judges with all the pupils being commended for their ideas and hard work.

The winning team was The Wilderness Squad, made up of Yuliia, Harriet, Harry, Riley.

Year 6 class teacher FIRST NAME Taylor said: “It was amazing to be able to sit back and observe how well the children were working together in the challenge and to see the project unfold.”

Young engineers at St Martin at Shouldham