Test your STEM credentials here

This is one of my favourite roadside signs, advertising what is an ‘architecturally distinguished and well-appointed‘ hotel, a stop on the West Highland line and also on the route of the West Highland Way (although it’s not one of the recognised overnight points). There’s two of these signs in place (this actually being the one on the southbound carriageway of the A82); the northern-bound one, just following a recharging stop for our electric car in Crianlarich or Tyndrum, is placed just after one welcoming you to the Gàidhealtachd and before the road winds up over the Water of Tulla and on into the peatbog wilds of Rannoch Moor and the awe-inspiring grandeur of Glencoe; the place that, among other things, has launched a million Christmas shortbread tins and, these days, a million Skyfall selfies, whether Aston Martin or Nissan Leaf.

IMG_9081 (2) (Custom)

Snapped last weekend here through the windscreen of a car moving at speed, this has long been a signpost for me, heralding far more than just locational positioning but representing a physical divide between lowlands and highlands, and (going north) a mental one between the old and the new, and particularly a point in response to the islands’ beckoning call.

But, about checking for those STEM credentials: looking at the sign, and amidst its gentle advertisement for a dimly-lit cosy bar, basking in the warm glow of a log fire, bare boards on the floor and a pint of the landlord’s finest on the table in front of you, what was your initial reaction?

1. Hmm. Bridge. Wonder if I can get a game?

2. Bridge, eh: do they still play that thing? Maybe I can watch for a bit and see how they do it…

3. Bridge. Yes, but beam, arch or suspension? (The answer is here.)

If you first thought (1) or (2), then possibly a career in STEM is not for you; if (3), your country and, of course, your union, absolutely needs you. Sign up as quick as you can.

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