Man of Steel project building skills for the future

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FOR now he’s being put together piece by piece in a city lab – but Sheffield’s Man of Steel will one day gaze down from up on high.

That’s the vision of a growing number of local people, firms and institutions working together to challenge the boundaries of technology.

The £2.7 million project to build a 30m high sculpture, to be positioned atop a coal-black column near junction 34 of the M1, is already seeing local youngsters take giant steps in their education.

Sculptor Steve Mehdi – who designed the massive piece of artwork which, once complete, will be half as high again as the Angel of The North near Newcastle – is working with apprentices at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on a four metre high prototype version.

Steve is also talking to Rotherham Education Services to explore ways schools in both Sheffield and Rotherham can get involved with the project as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics initiative.

“We’re keen to include schools across all aspects of the project, from design and development to fabrication and installation,” said Steve.

“An education project is being developed between Sheffield and Rotherham that will form an important part of schools’ curriculum from 2014, helping to inspire a new generation of young engineers. All of the companies working with us are keen to support this.”

Steve says the prototype version of Man of Steel is already ‘amazing’. “It will be the centrepiece of an exhibition at the Global Manufacturing Festival at the AMRC in April next year,” he said. “It will also appear at Magna before going to Kelham Island Museum to feature in an exhibition about steel.”