02 August 2011 - High schools across Australia and New Zealand will have a smashing time during the first week of August as they test to destruction the load-bearing capacity of their balsa wood model bridges in Aurecon’s 2011 Bridge Building Competition.
The competition run by Aurecon asks year 8 and 9 students to build a bridge out of balsa wood, string, cardboard and glue. The bridge that bears the biggest load will win the team a state prize and put them in the running to win the national prize.
In Victoria, Minister for Major Projects, the Hon Dr Denis Napthine MP, will attend the competition and present an award for the most innovative bridge. The team that wins this award will receive a personal tour of a Major Projects Victoria (MPV) construction site and a mentoring session with senior engineers from MPV.
Bill Cox, Aurecon’s General Manager, Australia and New Zealand said, “We believe this event encourages students to take up STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). By encouraging school students today to have fun with these subjects, we are investing in the engineers of tomorrow.”
MPV’s acting Executive Director John Wiles said, “Major Projects Victoria is thrilled to be associated with this fantastic event that engages young people in engineering in such a fun and practical way. We are looking forward to seeing young bridge designers test their skills and go head to head in Victoria's biggest balsa bridge battle. ”
Aurecon organises this event in six other locations in Australia, and two in New Zealand, to coincide with Australian Engineering Week, a celebration of the diversity and depth of engineering by industry body, Engineers Australia.
Rupert Grayston, Acting Chief Executive of Engineers Australia said, “The Aurecon 2011 Bridge Building Competition helps capture the imagination of high school students about careers in engineering and sciences.”