On Saturday 20th July 2013, the South African Institute of Civil Engineering (SAICE) hosted their 21st Annual Bridge Building competition at Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town.
The objective of the competition is to introduce young minds to the field of engineering. 24 teams from 18 schools in the Western Province competed in this year’s competition. Brackenfell High were the overall winners with their top bridge bearing a weight load of 285kgs.
The teams had until 3 O Clock to build their bridges. They were given limited materials including Alcolin Super Glue to work with and the bridges had to be built according to strict specifications.
The children quickly discovered that they could build up the glue line and create much needed body by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda over the wet Super Glue.
Once the aesthetics of the bridges had been judged, they were submitted to a load bearing test. The load bearing equipment is specially designed to test the bridges and while it was hard seeing the bridges break, it was a great learning experience for the children.