The beautiful setting of Hampstead Heath Ponds Project hosted eleven girls (and one boy) for this year's London Division Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.
They took part in a variety of activities starting with a virtual reality game, demonstrating how the development of this type of technology is being used in civil engineering.
Taking advantage of the beautiful weather the group went outside where they enjoyed a challenge to build a dam in a tray. They were given 3 bags containing sand, small stones and larger stones, a roller and water. Ian Grant, Project Manager at Hampstead, who had explained to the girls the importance of the work being carried out on the dams at Hampstead was given the same materials and set to work constructing his own dam. Three litres of water was then poured in and two minutes was timed by volunteers. The amount of water which had got past the structure, through the hole in the tray and into a bucket was measured. It was a relief to Ian that his dam was the most effective but none of them collapsed and they all slowed down the flow of the water considerably.
After lunch Susie, Education Officer for City of London spoke about how important it is when work is being carried out that wildlife such as nesting birds is not disturbed. She then distributed cards with pictures of birds which are found on the Heath. On our walk to Model Boating Pond the girls played 'Bird Bingo', crossing off pictures of any birds that they saw.
Works had been stopped at Model Boating so that the girls could have the opportunity to sit in an excavator, blade and dumper, aided by Jock Stewart, foreman and Martin Rich, plant operator at Hampstead.
Bernice Abalin, trainee engineer, took the group over to the pond where the girls watched (at a safe distance of course) as she collected some water samples. The girls finished the day's activities with testing the water.
The day was a great success and we received very positive feedback from the girls. We are already making plans for next year as we found that they were particularly interested in the environmental issues which we intend to include along with a commercial aspect which was also mentioned.
Click here to view our photo reel from the day!