Kaniva College boys’ team, 1st place
Source: Museum Victoria
Take 42 teams of students in years 8 and 9, lots of balsa wood, cardboard tubes, string, glue and tape put them all together and what do you get? The 2010 Aurecon Bridge Building Competition!
The Victorian finals of this annual competition were held at Scienceworks on Wednesday 4th August. Of the 42 competing teams, 20 were girls' teams, one was a ‘mixed’ team and the remaining 21 were boys' teams.
Using a given, strictly limited amount of the aforementioned materials, the teams had six weeks to design and construct the strongest model bridge possible – within competition guidelines. The teams were awarded points for visual appeal, workmanship and the creativity of their bridge design before they were tested to determine their capacity to carry a load, often meaning that they were tested to the point of destruction. To find out which bridge could hold the greatest load, each bridge was supported at both ends and loaded in the centre. For the first time this year electronic gauges were used to determine the weight capacity of the bridges.
The wining team was Kaniva College boys’ team whose bridge withstood a load of 81.2 kg despite weighing only around 100 grams. The second place went to Kaniva College girls’ team (58 kg) and third to Plenty Valley Christian College (50 kg).
The day also included a grudge match between engineers from Aurecon and VicRoads. This match was won by...VicRoads (again!). However both bridges were still beaten by student-designed bridges; VicRoads only managed to support 42 kg!