Engineering talents on display

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 April, 2009, 12:00am

Gordon Wu, a long-time supporter of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, will be pleased to see so many youngsters in Hong Kong interested, and even gifted, in building bridges.

Their talent was on display at the Sixth Bridge Building Competition for Secondary Schools 2009 and Prize Presentation Ceremony - featuring 52 schools, 96 teams and 450 students - held on March 28.

The contest aimed to boost self-confidence, team spirit and the appreciation of engineering skills among secondary school students through designing, building and testing bridges.

It was jointly organised by the department of construction at the IVE (Tsing Yi) and the department of civil engineering at the University of Hong Kong, and in collaboration with the American Society of Civil Engineers, Hong Kong Section.

Participants had to build models of bridges out of small wooden sticks and glue.

The structural efficiency of the model was tested by running a small vehicle loaded with lead over it. After passing a qualifying test, each team was given two opportunities to load the vehicles with yet more lead. The team that managed to run the heaviest vehicle over the bridge without it collapsing was the winner.

The Caritas St Joseph Secondary School won the Best Structural Efficiency and Best Load Capacity awards. Their model, which weighed only 0.24kg, was able to bear a load of 34.18 kg, meaning it had a structural efficiency 142 times its own weight.

In the final, Semple Memorial Secondary School took home the Best Design Award.

The Grand Prize went to Hotung Secondary School team for its overall satisfactory performance in all the three categories.