Special Report by Ciaran Hendry S2
On the 25th of January 2017, two Our Lady’s High school Go4SET teams visited, “Liberty Steel”, a steel processing plant in Motherwell. We walked from school to the site where we were greeted by our mentor, Chris Gourley. We listened to an interesting talk about the health and safety aspects of the workplace and then had a fun quiz. One of the best parts was when we played games that taught us the importance of organisation, efficiency and specification in the workplace. After all our briefings we enjoyed an excellent lunch provided by our hosts. We then got ready to go on the highly anticipated tour of the plant.
Wearing high visibility vests, hard hats and earplugs, we witnessed steel being heated to 1000°C. Our guide showed us the famous water tower and of course inside the steelworks. He showed us the interesting process from when the steel is delivered by train to when it’s heated in gas pits, then flattened out between huge rollers before finally having water thrown over the steel plates, giving off a magnificent amount of water vapour. We saw red and even yellow hot slabs of steel carried by large cranes to different parts of the plant. Even after cooling, the flattened metal plate was incredibly hot. We also spent time in the control room where the operators made sure the plate was the right size with the help of computers.
After a question and answer session it was time to return to school. We were all given memory cards encased in steel as a keepsake of our visit. Overall the experience was informative and very enjoyable and, will aid our learning in so many ways.
Thanks go to Chris and all the staff at Liberty Steel for their help and advice.