Aspiring engineers claim award for bridge design
Young Ngaruawahia engineers in the making claimed a top award in the Aurecon Bridge Building Competition.
The Ngaruawahia High School ‘Team Bridget’ built a model bridge and won the allrounder award against more than 40 other teams.
Their prize was $1000 towards the school’s technology department.
Teams were judged on the aesthetics, design, build, strength to weight ratio and the final test was how heavy of a load it could bear.
The year 10 team Mollie Abrams, Tiare Mahutariki and Rebecca Smith-Hall were up against teams from the Waikato and Auckland.
Upon announcing the award winners, they thought all hope was gone as they had lost out on the efficiency and strength award.
‘‘We weren’t expecting it because we were doing calculations to see who won... we were about to pack up and leave,’’ Tiare said.
Mollie and Tiare entered last year and came home with only the experience which seemed to work in their favour this year.
Materials were sent to them a few months before the competition held on August 4 in Auckland.
The challenge was to build a model bridge with the supplied materials of ice block sticks, cardboard tube, PVA glue and string.
However the girls only used the 300 sticks, a clamping method, lamination and glue.
‘‘We drew up every individual part of the bridge so we could cut the popsicle sticks to the right length,’’ Tiare said.
At home they went through a process of researching designs and then built a tester which broke before withstanding the 200kg mark.
So going into the compe- tition, they weren’t sure how far their bridge would go.
Turns out it was strong enough to withstand a 218kg load, second to the Auckland Diocesan for Girls School which broke a record of more than 300kg.
Tiare said there was lot of mathematics involved in the design and build as they had to work with measurements, angles and equations.
But Mollie and Tiare said they had experience dating back to their childhood as both their dads were in the engineering business.
Mollie Abrams, left, Tiare Mahutariki and Rebecca Smith-Hall built the allrounder award winning bridge design.