School holiday fun for young engineers at Scienceworks

17 September, 2019Western Roads Upgrade

Bridges made of blocks, a mini road network and giant gears will teach Victoria’s youngest engineers about some of the biggest road upgrades in Melbourne’s west.

Thousands of children will visit Scienceworks in Spotswood across the September school holidays to learn about how roads are engineered and built, with hands-on activities and live demonstrations from engineers.

The Pumping Station Boiler Room has been transformed into a colourful construction zone, where students of all ages can build their own bridges from various materials and test their structures under challenging conditions.

These activities reflect the real-life engineering used on our $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade, which will improve 8 key roads as well as rehabilitate 7 bridges and hundreds of kms of road in Melbourne’s west.

Dozens of activity stations will help children complete challenges suitable for their skill level, from constructing a simple model bridge to building a structure that can hold a certain amount of weight.

Children will build on different surfaces - such as sand - and test bridge strength using toy cars and weights to develop an understanding of various bridge designs and the impacts of tension and compression.

Families with children as young as 2 years old can experience the engineering play space, which is filled with foam kick bricks, gears and giant Lego bricks. They can also dress up in high-visibility construction gear to role-play as engineers and road workers and explore how a conveyer belt system works.

A mini-road network has been set up for children to play on, using colourful pull-up cars made of cardboard. Engineers from the Western Roads Upgrade will use this opportunity to talk to children about road rules and safety.

These experts will also hold spot talks to explain various engineering concepts, answer questions and show visitors through an interactive map of the Western Roads Upgrade.

Families can also attend a 20-minute daily show in the amphitheatre which will showcase the science of structures and bridge building, using practical demonstrations and audience participation.

While children are exploring how the roads and bridges in Melbourne’s west are built, the Western Roads Upgrade team is working to upgrade roads across suburbs including Point Cook, Truganina, Tarneit, and Werribee.

For more information see the Western Roads Upgrade project page and the Scienceworks website.

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