The aim is to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers.
The initiative, which was first announced in 2014, began with a laser scanning project that amassed a 3D point cloud of many billions of dimensionally accurate points on the structures of the Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge and the at the Queensferry Crossing, which was still under construction at the time. With the laser scanning complete, a further grant from Transport Scotland in 2017 enabled the start of work on developing the resources.
The Centre for Digital Documentation & Visualisation (CDDV) - a partnership between Historic Environment Scotland and the Glasgow School of Art - has worked with the assistance of a digital learning consultant to create several teaching packages, each bearing the phrase Go Forth as part of its name. The output includes learning games, design and coding resources, a location-based app, real-time interactive models for virtual headset tours and video fly-throughs, all aimed at developing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills among pupils in Scottish schools.
Deputy first minister John Swinney said: "The embedding of the Forth bridges into teaching resources helps to demonstrate to pupils the wonders of modern digital technologies and to the extraordinary civil engineering from three different centuries we see sitting across the Forth.”
Jenni Mackay, education support officer for digital learning at Dundee City Council developed the learning resources. She said: "As well as the programming and design materials, we have created educator packs to support learning and teaching through STEM activities and the technologies curriculum. It is vital we provide our learners an opportunity to be creative and gain a wide range of digital skills to ready them for the current and future workforce."
Amanda Young, class teacher at Dens Road PS Dundee was involved in testing the games with her class. She said: "My P7 class were very engaged and focussed as they always enjoy game-based learning. They also enjoyed the challenges of the different levels of the game and used games they've already played to help them progress through the levels of Go Forth. While Go Forth doesn't tie in with our topic work at the moment, it did generate lots of discussion about the building of the bridge and other jobs related to its construction. As a result we have contacted an engineer who is going to come in to speak to us on Careers Week."
In addition to CDDV, Dundee City Council, Transport Scotland and Network Rail, other partners have contributed resources and expertise to the project. These include the National Records of Scotland, the Briggers (a Queensferry-based local history group), the Institution of Civil Engineers and the University of Aberdeen's Special Collections.