SCHOOLGIRLS in Prudhoe are building bridges towards a future in engineering.

To mark the first ever International Women in Engineering Day last week, four professional engineers from Colas Ltd visited Highfield Middle School.

The engineers – Caroline Hayward, Lisa Pearson, Richard Evans and Andy Carnegi – led an assembly of around 200 pupils in a presentation on the kind of work they do. A group of 24 female students from year seven and year eight were then invited to take part in a special engineering workshop.

The girls were tasked with designing and building bridge structures using paper as well as problem solving, team work and trouble shooting skills.

At the end of the session the girls presented their work and findings.

Deputy head at Highfield Middle, Cate Haslam, said: “This is the first time that we have celebrated women in engineering and it is something we’d do again.

“Having so many professionals n was really really good for the kids to see the mix of genders talking about what it was like in that industry.

“We often look at STEM activities, it’s something we’re really keen to do.

“And it’s important to celebrate women in engineering. The girls loved it. They wanted to carry on at the end of the session.”

The company said it had worked with a number of schools to show female students that engineering is not just a man’s world.

Colas Associate HR director, Donna Hitchcock said: “Colas is a proud sponsor of International Women in Engineering Day, promoting rewarding careers and opportunities in engineering for women.

“Colas is committed to supporting greater diversity within the sector”