Help local students be part of this prestigious competition

Three Year 9 students, who are studying Engineering at Bellingen High School, have been selected to represent the school in a Bridge Building Competition in Sydney on August 1 this year.

And they need your help to get there.

The three candidates, ​Emily Ruming, Summer Storm and Paloma Birch, have been participating in extra-curricular bridge engineering tutorials with Technological and Applied Studies (TAS) Head Teacher, David Mayo, and spending time over the holidays testing ideas.

As outstanding nominees in their class, and as potential future female engineers, they form part of a nation-wide initiative to address the gender imbalance in the Engineering industry.

“It’s not that there aren’t a lot of girls and young women who are interested in engineering, it’s just that traditionally there was the perception of engineering as mainly a male thing,” Science Technology Engineering Maths (STEM) Teacher, Fiona McAulay said.

“This is definitely not the case any more. 

“Engineering continues to be a strong focus at Bellingen High in both junior and senior courses. Students explore engineering, architectural and environmental problems to solve across a range of faculties and subject areas.

“The High School has strong ties with Industry, TAFE and professionals in our local community.”

Head Teacher, David Mayo, is a strong advocate for rural students and giving them opportunities that often exist only for metropolitan schools.

“At Bellingen High we are committed to offering our kids access to quality programs and competitions.”

To raise funds the team are raffling two beautifully hand-crafted timber cutting boards, made from reclaimed materials.

Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the school’s front office, the Bellingen Tourism Centre or Weave, Hyde Street Bellingen.

The girls have also entered a computer drawing of their own design, a new component in the Aurecon Bridge Building Competition for 2017.

Strict guidelines and criteria encourage problem solving, critical thinking and team work.

Construction has commenced and come August 1, competing against 60 other schools, the bridge will be stress tested to destruction. 

For further information or to offer support for this project, please contact David Mayo or Fiona McAulay at Bellingen High School, Technology & Applied Studies Faculty, phone 6655 1315.

The Aurecon Bridge Building Competition

The competition is open to Years 8 and 9 students in Australia, and Years 9 and 10 students in New Zealand. In 2017, the competition is being held in seven locations.

Using materials supplied by Aurecon, students are tasked with designing and constructing a model bridge using the construction guidelines provided. Judging days take place in August, and all competitors are invited to gather at venues across Australia and New Zealand where bridges are load tested and assessed for visual appeal, workmanship, creativity and functionality.

New to the competition in 2017, is an optional digital component where teams are able to use a digital tool, SketchUp Make, to design their bridges before they start construction.