Abigroup works with Nagambie schools
04 May 2011
At the start of 2011 Abigroup invited the local Nagambie and St Joseph’s primary schools to the Nagambie Bypass site to learn about environmental management and to see for themselves how D11 bulldozers and scrapers are used in road building.
The visits were to encourage future interest in the construction industry and to keep the school informed of happenings on the Nagambie Bypass project. The children’s safety will be improved as trucks and through-traffic on the current Goulburn Valley Highway will utilise the new Nagambie Bypass instead of driving past the schools.
In discussing environmental Management on the Bypass, the children learnt about some of the ways the project is protecting the environment during construction. Freetail Bats, Legless Lizards and Brush-tailed Phascogale are some of the animals that were encountered or relocated by the project ecologist as a part of clearing vegetation. Although not a project requirement, Abigroup installed bat and possum boxes to accommodate relocated animals and to reduce the time they remained in captivity. Many of the trees that were cleared from the project area were used to create new habitats for various animals to make their homes in. Trees were also donated to the Department of Primary Industries and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority for resnagging projects to improve bank stability and increase fish breeding habitat in local creeks and rivers.
One of the Term 3 themes for Grades 3-6 at the local primary schools was ‘Structures’, Abigroup continued to support the schools through real world learning. Technical plans were provided and class talks given by Abigroup engineers to discuss basic bridge principles, designs and functions. These included what the bridges are going to be used for, how safe they need to be, what the costs are and how long the different bridges would take to build.
The children were taught about different types of bridges and asked where they may have seen them in the local area or on TV. Finally the rationale behind the design of Nagambie Bypass project bridges was explained to them. A visit to the construction site followed, where the children watched a crane placing a bridge beam weighing 27 tonnes.
Nagambie Environmental Coordinator Joanne Pitts & Project Manager Fiona Warren explaining Environmental Management with Nagambie Public School students
The children on the Nagambie site visit
Back at school, the children then designed and built their own bridges and Abigroup engineers were invited back to admire the artistic and engineering skills on display. Prizes were awarded for the most functional and asthetically pleasing bridges. The ‘Strongest Bridge’ award was also presented for the bridge which could hold the most weight.