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Heaton Manor School Research Tyne’s Shipbuilding Glory

All of the River Tyne’s proud history of shipbuilding was explored as part of a Heaton Manor School’s Spring science project which was presented to an audience of parents and VIP guests.


Over thirty 12 and 13 year old students learnt about a wide range of different elements of the river from its wildlife and ecology to the port and what environmental aspects helped to build the huge shipbuilding industry on the Tyne.


The students visited the Port of Tyne and the Dove Marine Laboratory in Cullercoats to help with their research.

Joseph Payne, 12, said: "We learnt how to do a scratch test on rocks to test what minerals they contained. As a result we could identify the business potential that shipping companies would have realised existed in the land around the river and why they would see the River Tyne as a good base. We also studied the density and absorbency of different types of rock and how ships were streamlined to be the most efficient."

All the students also learnt about tourism, fishing in the river and explored issues such as what would happen if there was no Port of Tyne and the effect of noise pollution from fog horns. The students even created their own play on the history of the River Tyne.

Peter Arnold, chief executive, Newcastle Science City said: “It is great that the students have used the tremendous wealth of material on their own doorstep to add to their knowledge and understanding of science. The River Tyne is a fascinating place from its industrial heritage to its present day busy port and tourism appeal. The students have really embraced the opportunity to see the breadth of the river and the science behind its history in a truly imaginative way.”

Dated: 18/05/2009

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