City Rail Link

News - August 2019

Engineering students get a taste of the CRL for Wonder Week


Hordes of students from schools across Auckland were given a behind-the-scenes look at New Zealand’s largest-ever infrastructure project, thanks to the Wonder Week initiative.

Science and engineering students from Green Bay High School, Auckland Girls Grammar School and St Marys College were fascinated to learn about the City Rail Link project and even had a go at building their own structurally-sound feat of engineering – building a marshmallow as high as possible off a desk using only 40 pieces of dry spaghetti and tape. The best team reached an astonishing 70cm above desk height – well above the average of 40 cm.

The students, around 15-16 years old, were then given a tour of the tunnels below the Chief Post Office building, near Britomart. Leaving no stone unturned, the students asked what happens to the tunnels in the case of an earthquake, how the tunnels were able to be dug below groundwater level and how Auckland’s unpredictable weather patterns affects construction.

CRL’s Isaac Devanney-Bray, who helped organise the day, said the questions were well considered and thought through.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the innovation, initiative and enthusiasm that they showed throughout the STEM activity, site visit and further discussion about our work.”

Wonder Week, an initiative by Engineering NZ which runs in early August in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, aims to give Kiwi youth a taste of what STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and maths) are really like.

Nigel Horrocks