14. Bridging the River

By Martin Crabbe | March 13 2019

14. Bridging the River

Blog Category: Campaign updateBlog Tags: Education and Education

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    Climate Action 14 (#Love London. Love the World.)

    Target audience:  Key Stage 3 Design Technology students

    1. Bridging the River

    London’s bridges are a rich subject for the study of design and technology. They are elegant landmarks that exemplify the best technology of their time and relate closely to the city’s social and economic development. London exists because of the River Thames, however, the river also divides the city, and for many centuries London designers and engineers have sought to find new ways to bridge the Thames and bear the load of the capital’s busy traffic, while not obstructing the river’s flow or its many passenger and cargo boats. In the process they have created some of the London’s most iconic sights.

    In this unit students will engage with one of the most basic and long-standing engineering challenges tackled by Londoners throughout time. They will explore, test and use the properties of materials and the performance of structural elements to inform bridge design. A research visit to the River Thames will offer an opportunity to explore the technology and history of some of the most famous bridges in the world. And as a final project, students will plan an exhibition to share the design features and stories of the Thames’ bridges with a younger audience.

    With special mention to the Museum of London and U.C.L. (Institute of Education).

    Click here to see the resource ‘Bridging the River’

    1. Bridging the Global Goals

    Global Goal 9 looks at Industry, innovation and infrastructure. Read the cartoon below and consider how well London’s bridge meet these aims.

    1. Background to this resource

    This project aims to:

    1. Connect London’s schools to great resources based on their city and
    2. To suggest ways to introduce a global perspective to their work.

    Each blog will be based on two major curriculum resources available freely to teachers:

    1. The London Curriculum– developed by experts in their field working in partnership with the Mayor of London and his Education and Youth team.
    2. The World’s Largest Lesson– produced by Project Everyone in partnership with Unicef to help schools address three major challenges:
    • End extreme poverty
    • Fight inequality and injustice
    • Tackle climate change

    Each blog will aim to provide ways for teachers to reflect on these big issues through their own contexts, subject areas and from a London perspective.

    Thanks to the teams at City Hall and Project Everyone for providing these great resources. Some of my blog has been adapted from their websites.


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Martin Crabbe