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CIT Advanced Bridge Challenge tested bridges to destruction

Published: 23 Sep 2019

The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) Advanced Construction and Engineering Bridge Challenge saw 14 finalist teams from local high schools and colleges put their designs to the test in a hands-on competition at CIT Bruce.

The Annual Advanced Bridge Challenge is open to teams of students enrolled in years 10, 11 and 12. The students are challenged to build the strongest suspension bridge according to design specifications using timber and string.

CIT CEO Leanne Cover said, "Students at this school level are really considering their career options, and the detailed, hands-on experience gives them a taste of both the engineering and construction fields."

Students also have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of STEM concepts such as symmetry, tension and compression as their designs are evaluated based on the resistance of weight put on different parts of the structures.

Marist College participated with four separate teams and the students took prizes home in several categories.

Marist College team 4 is the 2019 CIT Advanced Bridge Challenge Champion achieving the highest score across all judging categories. The winners in each of the categories are:

  • Marist College team 3 - Design, Innovation and STEM Award
  • Marist College team 1 - Sustainable Award for lowest embodied energy
  • Marist College team 2 - Strength Award for maximum load carried
  • Canberra High School team 5 - Efficiency Award for optimal strength to weight ratio

"This competition is an informal and fun way for school students to experience CIT and vocational education and training. Opening our doors to young people and engaging them through opportunities to display innovation, creativity, leadership and teamwork is a core part of what we do," Ms Cover said.

The bridges were broken during the testing phase of the competition, but the students' commitment to precise design will hopefully encourage some of them to enter the competition's fifth edition next year. Congratulations to all!