Building bridges at Canal Walk

31 March 2003

Bridging the gap: The winning school, the Higher Technical School Drostdy from Worcester.

LEARNERS from the Higher Technical School Drostdy in Worcester were the winners, for the second year running, in the annual bridge building competition held at Canal Walk recently.

The school's three learners designed and built a bridge that could hold a load of 80kg, and in doing so beat 36 competing schools for the Western Cape title. Their winning bridge also earned them a place in the national event in May. In 2002, the school broke records when their bridge carried an unparalleled 161.8kg.

The bridge building competition is organised each year by the South African Institution of Civil Engineers (SAICE).

Participants were provided with a standard kit, consisting of 4mm x 4mm wooden sticks, glue and string, and had five hours to assemble their bridges, in full view of the public and without external assistance.

Bridges are judged on aesthetics – “they must look good” – and on the load they can carry in relation to their weight, explained UCT's Marianne Vanderschuren.

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