ICE & Snow: Youngsters engineer ski simulation on French slopes

Students, children, and their families skied and engineered their own model ski slope on the annual ICE & Snow ski trip to Meribel in France last month, organised by the Institution.

A skiing trip about civil engineering
A skiing trip about civil engineering

The trip offers the opportunity for both members and non-members to introduce their children to the field of engineering while enjoying a family skiing holiday.

Activities organised build team working skills and encourage children to apply their knowledge to practical situations and find solutions to problems, giving them a taste of life as a civil engineer. The skiing element of ICE & Snow has also been praised for capturing those near the age of making career choices by bringing together families with older children, those who would otherwise prefer to holiday separately to their parents.

Groups of boys and girls aged between 8 and 16 constructed their own 3 metre model ski slopes during their evenings on the trip, and also miniature skiers to travel the length of the slope. The evening activities helped them engage in the engineering principles employed in construction of the actual slopes in Meribel.

One group even managed to surpass the example design of the supervising qualified engineer's ski slope model with a construction which was stronger, more adjustable, and used far fewer materials.

Now in its 8th year, the annual ICE & Snow trip has inspired a number of young people to actively pursue a career in civil engineering. For some already studying engineering it has tipped the balance in favour of civil engineering, for others it has opened up a completely new pathway – inspiring them to take engineering forward as a future career, thereby building up tomorrow's engineers.

Martine Walling, a parent on the trip, commented on the evening engineering activities: "The children's excitement as they tested the prototypes was tangible and I witnessed all ages putting forwarded ideas for the finished product. I feel such events make a great contribution to the future of engineering, especially when so many leave school with little insight into this field, hence the need for initiatives like ICE & Snow."

ICE is currently in the process of organising the 2015 'ICE & Snow' trip, and is offering a 10% discount for all bookings made with ICE up and until 19 June 2015. After then, the discount is 5% until departure on the 13 December 2015. The trip to Meribel, in the French Alps, will last for one week.

The ski holiday is open to all and members are encouraged to invite friends and schools. The engineering games, outdoor activities and children's prizes are inclusive at no extra cost and non-compulsory.

To find out more, contact Richard Armstrong on:
e: [email protected] or t: 0207 665 2411