Redlands Students Win Prestigious Engineering Award

Redlands Students Win Prestigious Engineering Award thumbnail

A team of young innovators from Redlands has been crowned New South Wales champions in a prestigious national competition giving students vital skills in engineering and technology.

The Aurecon Bridge Building Competition has been running for 16 years and equips high school students with skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), the foundations of innovation.

More than 350 teams from across Australia entered this year’s competition, which tasked the students with designing a bridge, then building a wooden model of their vision and testing its strength.

The Redlands team, involving Year 7 students Theo Mirrlees-Black and Tamis Hunter and Year 8 students Jacob Gold and Harry Winton, won a newly created division – the Digital Award.

The category asked students to use a 3D computer program to come up with their design, and is designed to introduce students to the interrelationships between digital and traditional engineering techniques and technologies.

“We are very proud of the students, who during this competition not only demonstrated significant skills in engineering but also in innovative thinking, and a clear understanding of the way technology and engineering can be merged,” said Dr Lennox.

The students designed their bridge using a unique platform known as SketchUp – where they mapped out the measurements in lines and shapes, before pulling it all into 3D form.

The team then used that design to create a physical model of their bridge, using a kit with only balsa wood, a cardboard tube, some string and glue.

“They brought these everyday materials and traditional and digital approaches together in a seamless and, indeed, award-winning way, and were judged winners based on workmanship, creativity, visual appeal and functionality,” said Dr Lennox.

“This is an outstanding result in a prestigious national competition, and it was wonderful that the students could hone and demonstrate their skills gained in our Engineering Club, which is one of our many academic extension opportunities.”

The Redlands students were awarded a 3D printed model of their bridge design, which will be displayed at the school.

The team placed fifth in the Strength Award which measures how much load the bridge can handle. They created a bridge weighing only 212 grams, which was able to carry a load of 37 kilograms.

More than 1000 students from across the country took part in this year’s Aurecon Bridge Building Competition.