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ICE North East

Education

If you're thinking about a career in civil engineering, or would like to find out more about it, ICE is here to help.

We can give advice and guidance if you're wondering what subjects to study at school, college or university.

We also provide resources and support for teachers, and other people looking to promote civil engineering.

ICE North East has a wide range of materials for people living in the region and working with local schools and colleges.

Looking for inspiring resources to use in school?

We have a range of multimedia resources for teachers, careers advisers, parents, and volunteer ICE ambassadors.

So if you want an activity for a class or club – something hands-on, that's tried and tested – you'll find it here. We also have PowerPoint presentations, videos, careers information and useful links to lots more.

Education & resources

Tomorrow's Engineers logo

ICE also works with Tomorrow's Engineers, which provides clear information on careers in engineering.

The Tomorrow's Engineers careers materials:

  • Are mainly aimed 11 to 14 year olds
  • Show what young people can achieve by studying maths and physics
  • Tell you about the huge range of careers available in engineering
  • Explain the different ways to get an engineering career

Tomorrow's Engineers

In your region

Need help planning your lessons? Thinking about visiting a school?

We have a range of resources for teachers and those wanting to visit schools that help explain the role of civil engineering and inspire young learners.

Bridges to Schools

Watch pupils from the East Midlands take part in Bridges to Schools
 

Bridges to Schools is a fun activity that introduces young people to civil engineering and its contribution to society.

ICE North East uses a 13m cable stayed bridge kit which students build, walk across and deconstruct. It helps them learn about teamwork and the civil engineering that's involved in building bridges.

The overall aim of Bridges to Schools, which has been running in the North East since 2012, is to inspire and motivate younger students to take up a career in science or engineering field. Students are encouraged to improve their knowledge in physics, maths and other related subjects.

Hosting Bridges to Schools

The bridge kit is normally kept in one location for a week and schools group together to arrange for their pupils to visit and take part in the activity.

To host the bridge you need a gym or hall that's 19m long, 2.5m high and has a flat surface. Vehicle access is needed as close as possible. It's very important that this space is available or the bridge won't fit.

If you're interested in hosting Bridges to Schools at your school please contact the ICE North East Regional Support Team for availability and pricing.

Suitable for: 8 - 11
Time required:1.5 hours

Paper bridges

Paper bridges exercise
Paper bridges exercise

This is a hands-on design, make and test activity. Pupils will use sheets of paper, masking tape and nuts and bolts, to create a bridge which is tested for strength.

The activity helps students to appreciate the role of civil engineers and provides a great understanding of the forces that need to be managed in order to build a safe structure.

Suitable for: Age 8 and up

Time required: Up to 2 hours

Other Resources

In addition the regional team have a Leaning tower of Pisa Kit, Giant Jenga Kits, Water Filtration Kits and access to a Balancing Bridges kit. Contact [email protected] to find out more.

Volunteering and STEM

Please note all volunteers must be STEM registered.

Find out more about becoming a STEM Ambassador | STEM.

Highlighting some of the projects in your region

We showcase projects across the region, promoting civil engineers' work in in the fields of transport, energy, water, flooding and waste.

Build a bridge or tunnel to cross the river Tyne in North East England

Including rail and footbridges there are 26 bridges over the river Tyne. The bridges between Newcastle and Gateshead are probably the best known.

The river is also crossed by the Tyne tunnel - a 2 lane road tunnel that connects Jarrow with North Shields.

Famous engineer Robert Stephenson’s High Level Bridge was the first to span the Tyne Gorge in 1850. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge was the most recent in 2001.

The Tyne Bridge built in 1928 is probably the most iconic. It’s known worldwide as a symbol of Tyneside.

Although the bridges and tunnel were built many years apart by different engineers they can be loosely viewed as a single project because they all have similar goals. They all aim to move people and goods quickly in a region which has been one of the UK's industrial centres for hundreds of years.

Difference the crossings have made

The High Level Bridge was a vital link in the railway network of its day. It meant there could now be a continuous and faster service between London, Berwick and Edinburgh. The Tyne Bridge eased traffic congestion on existing routes across the river when it opened in 1928.

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a key part of the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside regeneration project. A cycle and footbridge, thousands of people cross it every day.

The Tyne tunnel is actually 2 tunnels. The first opened in 1967 letting traffic bypass the congested city centres of Newcastle and Gateshead. As it became busier over the decades – peak hour delays of 30 minutes were common – a second tunnel was added in 2011 to smooth traffic flows at rush hour.

How the work was done

Ground conditions were a major challenge during construction of the High Bridge. Stephenson wrote in his journal that foundations were difficult to sink at high tide as the sand was too hard. Most of this work was done at low tide as a result. The bridge was made of cast iron to keep costs down.

TThe Tyne Bridge is similar in design to the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia which opened 4 years later. The Cornish granite towers of the Tyne Bridge were intended as 5 storey warehouses but the inner floors were never finished.

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge was lifted into place over the river by one of the world’s largest floating cranes. 6 hydraulic rams can tilt the bridge back to let tall ships pass. Its shape and movement have earnt it the nickname ‘the Blinking Eye’.

The onshore sections of the 2011 Tyne tunnel were built using the cut and cover method. This meant workers dug a trench, built the sides and then roofed it over. Under-river sections were prefabricated, floated out, and dropped into a trench. The sections were then covered with rocks.

Tyne Bridge Crossing

Find out more on the Tyne crossings

What do you need to do to become a civil engineer?

If you're interested in a university or college course in civil engineering, it's important to make sure that the course you choose is 'accredited'. This means that it meets the Engineering Council's quality and curriculum standards.

Having accredited academic qualifications will make it easier for you to become professionally qualified as a chartered engineer (CEng), incorporated engineer (IEng), or engineering technician (EngTech).

Use our course search to find accredited courses throughout the UK.

Search your course

Opportunities in your region

ICE North East has strong links with higher education institution in the region that offers accredited engineering courses.

It's Graduates & Students Committee organises a wide range of events - many of which are free - with universities and colleges to encourage students to join in, and to develop their knowledge and skills.

ICE North East has close ties with the following institutions in the region:

Universities

Read more