As a part of celebrations for Engineering Week, áurecon Australia Pty Ltd invited schools from the region to participate in their annual Bridge Building Competition.   The intent of this event is to provide an opportunity for students to become engaged in Science and Engineering, and plant the seed with those students who are thinking about a career along these lines.

Schools were contacted by Aurecon in advance of the event and provided with the requisite identical bridge building kits made up of Balsa wood, string, glue, and the kit cylinder for each team.  Students spent several weeks preparing, designing and building their bridges before the day of judging and testing.  The groups representing HSC were:

TeamMembersTeam Name
1Tyler BorgHSC 123
Harrison BryanHSC 123
Charlie BirnieHSC 123
2Sam PearceJumbo Rollers
Zane ConwayJumbo Rollers
Lachlan MinsterJumbo Rollers
3Joseph CamilleriHoly Spirit Arch
Trent WooldridgeHoly Spirit Arch
Lachlan KennedyHoly Spirit Arch

On Thursday 6 August, schools in the region gathered at the CQUniversity Cook Lecture Theatre to have the bridges tested by áurecon representatives.  Using a special framework, each team had to place their bridge carefully on the cable which was gradually tightened.  As pressure was increased the force was measured by a scale linked between the bridge and the anchor cable.  Force was increased slowly, the weight and the warping of the bridge was observed until the bridge broke.

As bridges were broken, students were encouraged to predict possible strong and weak points in the various designs.  As well as this, students were given interesting information with regards to commercial projects.

The HSC teams did very well on the day with HSC 123 measuring 12.7 kg.  All the students gained a great deal by watching the process and everyone would have liked another go.  The winning design was from St Catherine’s Catholic College, Proserpine.  Better luck next year, HSC.