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Tunnelworks is a series of teaching and learning resources linking mathematics and science to the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, a major new sewer that will help protect the River Thames from increasing pollution. Background to the project is given in the introductory video.
In one lesson students explore the role of the river in the transportation of goods and materials needed for the construction of the tunnel and the key personnel working on the project. The task involves working in teams to prepare a case as to which contractor they would propose awarding a contract to for the construction of the tunnel. Information sheets are provided for three different contractors and students analyse the data to calculate if they have the capacity to move the materials at the appropriate rate along the river during the tunnel construction process. Consideration of the impact upon other boat users and the environment must also feature as part of the final decision. The outcome can be presented at a later date or as an extension activity. The second lesson is a suggested hour long activity where students work as part of a team to develop their problem solving skill sets to produce a detailed logistics plan that meets local stakeholders' needs for the construction of a tunnel with sustainability a key priority. They are given specific roles as logistics managers, staff travel planners, construction route planners and river transport officers and are supplied with research materials to facilitate this process. The final plan can be presented as a group task with accompanying slideshow and handouts. The student worksheets and teacher notes are to be used in conjunction with the presentations for each lesson.