UKZN’s School of Engineering recently played host to an event with a difference - the South African Institution of Civil Engineering’s (SAICE) annual Model Bridge Building Competition.
Held at the UNITE building, this year was the competition’s 21st anniversary. Some 100 learners from 11 different schools came to participate and learn more about civil engineering.
Sponsored by Naidu Consulting, the 2016 event proved itself to be a successful career guidance initiative that attracted learners from previously disadvantaged rural schools, model C schools and private schools.
‘As an activity that is both technical and challenging, bridge building provides learners with a glimpse of what it takes to be a Civil Engineer,’ said Mr Josh Padayachee of Naidu Consulting. ‘The competition also provides a chance to build bridges between people and cultures.’
Participating schools entered learners in groups of three. The aspirant bridge-building trios then used model dowel sticks, glue and strings to build bridges according to the technical specifications provided.
Judges examined bridge design and durability in order to determine the winning teams. After a nail-biting wait, Fairvale Secondary School grabbed the glory - winning first, second and third places. They were presented with their awards by Mr Josh Padayachee and Ms Morag Horne of Naidu Consulting.
New Forest High School won the Phil Everitt Innovation and Design Award, which was awarded for the second year.
The excited winning teams participated in the national Model Bridge Building Competition which was held from 25-27 August in Pretoria.