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Win at Bridge Building Competition

August 5, 2015
By Ryszard Dybka

Students Ynys Bach-Strong, Lochlan Dickie, Stella Sutherland and Isla Visser

Students Ynys Bach-Strong, Lochlan Dickie, Stella Sutherland and Isla Visser

On the 4th of August 2015 four Hagley College Year 10 Graphics students, took part in the load testing of their prebuilt bridges in Aurecons Bridge Building Competition. The students built their bridges in their own time, over the first week of the term two holidays, using a kit provided by Aurecon.

This year’s Canterbury competition was represented by twelve secondary schools of Year 9 & 10 students.

Up to three teams of three students are allowed to enter from each school. This year 17 competing teams were present. Bridges were judged on aesthetics (beauty), innovation and load bearing strength.

We came into the 2015 competition as the defending 2014 champions. As tradition dictates the four students made their own T shirt designs to wear on the day!

Testing order was determined by drawing names out of the hat, and Hagley was chosen first. We set the pace with a 44kg bridge breaking result.

This bridge belonged to our all girl team of Isla Visser and Stella Sutherland, team “Turquoise Turtles”.

Next was Lochlans Dickie’s turn of team “Team 7.0”. He immediately made a good engineering impression by confidently telling the audience about his bridge. He reinforced that with the audience watching his bridge endure to 74.2kg before it broke. This is a staggering 370 times his bridge weight. This statistic immediately broke last years bridge breaking record of 72kg, also set by Hagley.

Lastly, but very importantly, Ynys Bach-Strong of team “Ice Shard”, had to set a high bridge break point in order to stay in the running for prizes, and he did. His bridge broke at 41.7kg which as the last bridge to be tested, cemented our victory to give an overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd wins for the bridge competition for 2015 with prizes to match of over $3000.

Aurecons Structural Engineers again competed against the students this year. Their first bridge failed at 41.9kg and their second 75.0kg. Marginally beating Lochlans bridge score!

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