Year 9 STEM bridge building competition

Last week Thursday a team from the Year 9 STEM class competed in the 2018 Aurecon Bridge Building Competition for Western Australia. The Belmont Bridge Bombers; consisting of Shahreen Rahman, Nathasa Knathny and Kirsten Johnston; spent several afternoons after school during the term building their bridge. Their hard work and dedication to the project is to be commended.

Their bridge design plan incorporated elements from the classic truss bridge and the graceful suspension bridge. The Belmont bridge was the only bridge at the competition that was based on the suspension bridge design. They made their bridge from balsa wood, wood glue, string and cardboard. 

On competition day the Belmont bridge was judged on its design and workmanship, strength and efficiency. In the strength category our bridge did us proud and successfully supported a 5.5 kg load, just shy of the competition average of 8 kg. The strongest bridge on the day (an arch bridge from Baldivis Secondary College) supported a 57 kg load. The most efficient bridge was another arch model that supported 43 kg but only had a mass of 59 grams.

The three-judge panel was so impressed with the team’s bridge design and workmanship that they awarded the “Most Innovative Design” award to Belmont City College. The judges were swayed by the successful use of two different designs (the truss and suspension) in the Belmont bridge, noting how difficult it is to build a suspension bridge model. They commented how the team’s detailed and high-quality workmanship (E.g., Use of double gusset joints and the tensioning of the suspension cables) contributed to the pleasing appearance of the Belmont bridge.

Our Belmont Bridge Bombers each won a gift voucher and they earned a $500 cash prize for Belmont City College. Please congratulate Shahreen, Nathasa and Kirsten on their efforts and their “Most Innovative Design” award in this year’s bridge building competition.

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