HNC Construction and Civil Engineering students from West Lothian College got hands-on experience with the Teardrop Project last week.

Though the students initially thought they’d just be there to observe they were actually given some practical experience on the project, facilitated by BAM Construction and Concrete Scotland, in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde.

The project was a dry-run for building the Rothera viewing platform, to form part of the jetty for the new Antarctic exploring vessel, The Sir David Attenborough. The design was conceived through a design project undertaken by Masters Students at Strathclyde University.

Students Carrie Shields, Ashley Walls, Tania Burns and Dominika Andrzejewska represented the college and enjoyed getting to work on the project.

Tania, 41, from Bridgehouse, said: “This was an unbelievable experience - way beyond the practicalities of putting a structure together, although you are immersed in that in the most hands-on way possible too.

“Before last week I was 100% certain I was headed towards an end goal of a degree in QS or Architectural Studies. After my experience, I am now keeping my options well and truly open to fields such as Construction Management or Civils which I was previously sure were not the routes for me. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to be involved, it was an inspirational week to say the least.”

Carrie, 27, from West Calder, added: “Being a part of the Teardrop Project has completely concreted my decision to work in construction! Eye opening. Simply amazing!”

Chris Wood, Construction lecturer, said: “Our students had a really positive time getting stuck in to the work, setting up the site, erecting safety fencing, forming reinforcement cages, building shuttering for concrete, pouring and testing concrete, and generally getting their hands dirty.

“We are very grateful to Dale Lyon at Concrete Scotland for presenting our students with this excellent opportunity at such an early point in their course.”