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Inspiring our neighbours at Westminster Academy

By Juliet Whitcombe

Inspiring our neighbours at Westminster Academy

Last Friday a team of volunteers from Crossrail and our western tunnelling contractor, BFK, ran an event at Westminster Academy to inspire students careers in engineering.

The Academy is situated adjacent to our Westbourne Park worksite where the project’s enormous tunnel boring machines, Phyllis and Ada, were assembled. Our team talked to Year 8 students (12-13 year-olds) about what is happening at the site and the wider Crossrail project. The team also gave insight into their careers and what it is like to work on Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

The students also took part in a construction challenge where they used their maths and science skills were put to the test. The tasks included:

  • Creating the tallest tower using the least number of Lego bricks
  • Building a crane that would lift a box of text books
  • Assembling copper piping to make a leak-free system
  • Using pasta and marshmallows to create the tallest structure

During the exercise the Crossrail team explained how the tasks represented real challenges that are faced every day on a construction job.

The final part of the day involved a tunnelling challenge where students studied the geography of an area and chose the best and most economic route for a railway tunnel by calculating costs, risks and construction  time.

Smita Bora, Principal of Westminster Academy said, “The opportunity to link academic rigor with topical, relevant and practical learning continues to be strength at Westminster Academy. Projects such as Crossrail and other activities, such as internships with city businesses and links with top universities, are available for all students to access.”

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