Each year, for the last 28 years, Sault College has hosted a bridge building contest for young students between the ages of 10 and 18 years old. Students who entered the contest were given specifications addressing the construction of their bridges. These specifications included a minimum length of 450mm, a minimum width of 40mm, and the only two materials to be used in construction: balsa wood and glue.
Once built, bridges were registered, judged for their civil and architectural designs, and put under loading until ultimate failure by the Sault College “Crusher”. The winners of each category were determined by a point grading system. Grading criteria included civil design, architectural design, originality, and a unitless measurement of strength (failure load divided by self-weight).
This year, there were over $1,000 in cash prizes to be won. First place winners included Liam Spacek from the grade 5/6 category, Amelia Spacek from the grade 7/8 category, and Gavan Barrett from the grade 9-12 category.
A competition such as this bridge building contest is a great way for young prospective engineers to come out, have fun and test their skills! Students who participated this weekend gained exposure to the world of engineering and the limitless possibilities that accompany it. It doesn’t just stop at bridges: engineering is needed everywhere, and the sooner our youth are given a chance to realize this, the sooner they can become involved and discover what they are passionate about!