FAQs - bridge building competition

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Frequently asked questions about Aurecon's Bridge Building Competition

Can’t find what you’re looking for below? Head to your location page for more info or contact our local representatives who are ready to help.

Why is the competition not going ahead in 2021?

Unfortunately, due to the continued disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the hard decision to cancel the 2021 competition. As safety is of the upmost importance to Aurecon, we feel we cannot provide an experience where everyone can come together safely.

We look forward to welcoming you back in 2022. In the meantime, there are a number of resources that we have made available on the resources page. These videos and tips cover the basics of bridge design to support teachers and encourage students to learn about bridges and STEM education.

What can I do to prepare my students for the competition and get them excited about engineering?

The best way to get students excited for the competition is to conduct an internal bridge building competition at your school. This can help you to decide the team that will participate in our competition whilst engaging a larger cohort of students in the fun of bridge building. You can find these guidelines as well as other videos and tips on our resources page.

I've registered for the competition. When will the kit arrive so that we can start building our bridge?

A kit containing bridge building materials will be posted in June. This will allow all schools at least two months to design and construct their bridge prior to Judging Day in September. The competition guidelines, including mandatory specifications are available to download now on your state’s competition location page, and include a list of what materials are in the kit.

Is the digital component mandatory, and how do I get involved?

We encourage students to design their bridge digitally first so they can better plan and design a stronger bridge for the competition. The digital component to the Bridge Building Competition to reflect the increasing role virtual/online environments and programs play in the engineering and testing of bridges. Whilst this is encouraged to help them with construction, entering the digital component is optional. Students can still participate in the physical component of the competition on Judging Day.

If your school wants to get involved in the Digital component of the competition, learn more about it here, including how to download the software. Digital wireframes are due to Aurecon via email.

I have read on the website that I can use SketchUp Make to digitally design my bridge but I have received a trial version of SketchUp Pro. Can I still use it?

The SketchUp Make program is free for all educators and schools to use, and does not require a license. As part of downloading SketchUp Make you may receive a free trial of SketchUp Pro for 30 days. You may wish to design your bridge using the SketchUp Pro trial, however no points will be given for creating your design to scale. You will only be judged on the capability of SketchUp Make.

This year students also have the option to use AutoCAD instead of SketchUp Make or SketchUp Pro. For more information click here.

We're having trouble understanding the Guidelines and need advice from an engineering expert. Can you help us?

Yes, certainly. On each competition location page and at the bottom of this page you’ll find a handy ‘Ask an engineer’ button. You can submit a technical question here and one of our engineers will be in touch.

The materials in the bridge building kit we received are broken. What should I do?

Contact your local representative and we will send you replacement materials. Only materials supplied by Aurecon can be used to build your bridge, and does not include the glue container, the guidelines or the packaging that the kit arrives in. The use of materials other than those supplied will result in disqualification from the competition.

How do I update my team details?

Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email. In August, you will receive another email which will ask you to provide your team details. Please fill out the form once you receive this email to update your team details.

If you do not receive this email in August, or accidentally delete it, contact your local representative (listed on your competition location page) and they will resend the link to you.

Can we have an extra (fourth) member in our student team?

No, teams are strictly limited to three team members.

How do I withdraw my school from the competition?

We've built our bridge, but can no longer attend on Judging Day. Can we still enter it into the competition?

No, unfortunately your student team is required to be in attendance for the testing of their bridge to be eligible for the competition.

I have noticed that other competition locations offer more teams per school than ours. Can I enter teams than the number stated for my competition location?

No, numbers of teams per school has been ascertained due to the popularity of the competition in each competition location. As such, some competition locations have more participants and so numbers are limited by school, whereas some competition locations that are relatively new are allowed more teams per school. This ensures that the competition is competitive, enjoyable on the day and continues to be a success across all competition locations.

Is my school able to bring additional people to support the team on the day of judging?

Yes, we do however ask you to keep the numbers to a minimum as venue space is often limited. Please contact your local representative to confirm the number of attendees prior to the event. All students attending the day must bring a signed photography consent form.

If we win, how do we receive our prize money?

Yes, we have taken on board your comments and have implemented the following improved process. Winning students will be issued their prize money via a Coles Myer Card (Australia) and Prezzy Card (NZ) gift card at the awards ceremony so they can be used immediately by the students. To enable schools to receive their prize money in a more timely manner, we have included a copy of the EFT request form on each location page. We ask teachers to bring a completed form with the school’s bank account details on the day of the competition so the EFT can be processed the next day in our offices allowing schools to receive payment within two weeks.

Can I purchase additional copies of the kits so we our school can use for our internal competition or practice on?

Unfortunately not. The guidelines however do outline exactly what is included in the kit and we are more than happy for to you to replicate these kits for your internal competition or for students to practice. Please note the kit sent to you from Aurecon must be the kit you build your bridge with for competition day.

I would like to provide feedback and suggestions of improvement on the competition, can I do that?

At the conclusion of the competition across all competition locations, an email will be sent to all participating schools with a survey link. Please complete the survey here to provide us with valuable feedback. Alternatively, you can contact your local representative at any time to seek information or send feedback.

What are the costs involved for students and schools?

The competition is free to enter and participate in. The Bridge Building Kit sent to your school in May is free. Only one kit per team registered will be issued. Any associated costs with running an internal school competition will be at the school’s expense. Methods and associated costs for travel to and from the venue on competition day should be managed by the school. Students and teachers will be required to bring their own lunch to competition day.

Reach out to these peeps!

If you need assistance with anything Bridge Building Competition, please contact our awesome team - they are ready and waiting to help! Learn about their favourite bridges below to get some inspiration for your project.
Ella Penman

Ella Penman


"My favourite bridge is the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, a segmental arch bridge from the Middle Ages. I love it because it’s covered in beautiful shopfronts."

Eloise Febbraio

Eloise Febbraio


"My favourite bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; the classic suspension bridge. I’ve seen it from all different angles– driving over it, and sailing under it!"

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