Junior bridge builders show skills to claim competition
A balsa wood, cardboard and glue bridge supported more than 30kg to win a designand- build competition for Bishop Viard College last week.
Junior engineers tested their skills in a trans-Tasman high school design contest which attracted 170 students from 26 New Zealand schools.
It was organised by international engineering consultancy Aurecon.
The Bishop Viard team, comprising Dara Dayahirangi, Matthew Brooker and Deij Pokotea, constructed a bridge which gave way under a load of 30.1kg. Their bridge will compete with schools from other centres and Australia.
Runner up was Wellington College, whose bridge failed at 24.5kg, closely followed by Tawa College at 22.3kg.
Each bridge was assessed by Aurecon bridge design experts and then tested to destruction during the judging at Te Papa on Thursday.
Last year’s winning bridge, made by Kings College of Auckland, held 128kg before giving way.
Aurecon transport leader Ian Sloane said the competition was created to inspire and challenge students to think laterally and solve problems using their maths and science skills.
Engineering was a key profession worldwide and the company wanted to encourage the next generation, he said.
Matthew spoke about the entry, constructed from a cardboard half-tube beam with suspension towers and cables.
‘‘We knew that curves and triangles are stronger shapes so we incorporated that and did a bit of criss-cross along the bottom,’’ he said.
Gold plated: Dara Dayahirangi, left, Matthew Brooker and Deij Pokotea of Bishop Viard College display the prize-winning bridge.