04 August 2014 - More than 1 500 students from schools located across Australia and New Zealand will put their model bridge designs to the test at an international schools bridge building competition run by Aurecon at 11 separate locations during August.
In teams of three, students design bridges using balsa wood, string, glue and cardboard which will be load tested to determine the strongest bridge. Bridge experts from Aurecon and other organisations in the industry will assess each bridge for workmanship, creativity and visual appeal which will determine an overall score.
“The bridge building competition is certainly one of the highlights of our course and the students are always very keen to participate,” said Marijan Maricic, Head Teacher of Technology at Baulkham Hills High School, which won last year’s NSW/ACT event.
“They really enjoy the activity and they learn a whole new range of skills,” Marijan said.
Aurecon runs this event to promote engineering as a career to students of all backgrounds and to encourage students to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school, which are critical to undertaking an engineering degree.
A recent study by the Australian Workplace Productivity Agency recommended involving students in ‘real life’ problem-solving tasks relating to engineering to fuel their interest in studying STEM subjects.
Bill Cox, Aurecon’s General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: “The aim of the Aurecon Bridge Building Competition is to provide insight into engineering as a career choice for students, and to provide a fun and challenging environment for students to put their skills in teamwork, creative thinking and innovation to use.”
Prizes will be awarded to the schools and students who build the strongest bridges at each location. The winning bridge at each location will receive AUD1500 with the students taking home AUD200 each.
The event is supported by industry sponsors including: Engineers Australia, VicRoads, Civil, Mining & Construction, NZ Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, Central Queensland University, Plantation Palms Properties Pty Ltd, Rock 'N' Road Bitumen, I Reddacliff & Co, Belmore Estate, DGH Engineering, Monash University, Northern Territory Government, SA Structural, Scienceworks, Scitech, Dripstone Secondary College and St Lawrence’s College.
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