Ju­nior bridge builders show skills to claim com­pe­ti­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

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.

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