The Algoa Branch of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), held their provincial bridge building competition on Saturday 23 July at Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth. The teams only receive the final set of rules and specifications for the bridges that they must build on the day of the competition, and had only 3 hours in which to plan and build their bridge with the materials supplied. Oakhill College entered two teams and won second and first prize! The bridge built by the team consisting of Johan Hay, Bradley Carroll and Gerard Beukes was able to carry a mass of 65 kg before breaking. Not bad for a few wooden sticks weighing little more than 100 g!
The bridge built by Caitlin Smith, Julia Lamprecht and Courteney Wilkinson carried a whopping 110 kg, that is about 770 times its own weight before breaking and they were the clear winners. The top teams received cash prizes and the winners will be going through to the national competition to be held in Gauteng. Approximately 600 schools from across South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe take part in the different competitions organised by the SAICE regions, to determine who the finalists will be taking part in the final showdown. The competition is now in its 24th year and have inspired many students to pursue engineering as a career.