Smyths Toys Superstores has teamed with Meccano to challenge Irish university students to build a bridge across Belfast’s Clarendon Dock.
The ambitious task will see the bridge constructed entirely from Meccano, built by students of Belfast’s Queens University and local school children as part of the university’s outreach programme.
The programme itself aims to encourage more children to think about careers in civil engineering, an industry currently suffering from a shortage of skill in Ireland.
Now in its final stages of testing, the Meccano bridge measures approximately 100 foot in length to span Clarendon Dock, setting a new World Record for the largest Meccano structure ever achieved in the process.
The bridge – as well as additional attractions supported by Smyths (currently Ireland’s largest toy retailer) will be open to the public from Saturday, September 19th, while kids visiting the site will be offered the chance to play with Meccano’s new Meccanoid.
The bridge will be lit during the evenings of September 18th and 19th, before being dismantled on Sunday, September 20th.
“Meccano can play an important role in encouraging young people to think about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as this project clearly demonstrates,” said Emma Eden, marketing manager for Meccano.
“We were both astounded and thrilled at the vision that the students and teachers at the Queens University, Belfast had for using Meccano to create this amazing structure.
“It’s an absolutely awesome achievement, which we hope will be worthy of a world record.”
Padraig Smyth of Smyths Toys Superstores, added: “We are very proud to be able to lend our support to the students and look forward to meeting and helping inspire more children to explore the subject of engineering though playing with this timeless and iconic toy.”