Article

“Nous Sommes Le Pont”

By Jasper P. Yr12

On Saturday the 10 March, 8 students from Years 12,11,10 journeyed to G.T. college in Tiu Keng Leng, to participate in a collaboration with 7 other schools to assemble key components that will contribute to building the world’s longest span bridge made with LEGO bricks.        

We all arrived at 8:30 for registration and an opening address by the ICE HKA Chairman, Professor Ken Ho JP, and then immediately jumped into an engaging and fascinating talk from Dr Robin Sham entitled “From childhood ambition to practising civil engineering” where he reflected on why he became a civil engineer and what motivates him in the design and construction of bridges. Dr Sham then illustrated the structural actions of an actual suspension bridge and also the reasons behind this project.

After that, we had a short briefing about what we were actually going to be doing for the day and then we were off building!

Each school was tasked with building 25 components for the bridge, 9 weights, 8 cables and 8 platforms.

Since each different component had different difficulty levels, we decided to split up into groups to maximise efficiency. The Year 12s took the most challenging component, which was the platforms, while the Year 10s and 11s split into two groups to build the weights and the cables. The cables were the easiest component and due to the groups’ incredible efficiency, all the cables were finished within 45 minutes.

We took a short lunch break after around 3 hours of construction, by this time, all the cables, 7 weights and around 4 platforms had been finished. All in all, we were on track! After another half an hour, all the weights had been finished so everyone pitched in to help finish the platforms and we finished everything we just under an hour to spare.

We were one of the first teams to completely finish!

During the course of the day each team was tasked with coming up with a team slogan to represent the school.

Our slogan was ‘Nous sommes le pont” which is not only in French but also means “we are the bridge”, and since we had all put so much time into building the bridge, we believed we were part of the bridge!

Once each team had finished construction, they went up on stage to present their slogan. Sadly our slogan did not win but we all thought it was the best.

Overall the day was extremely fun, engaging and informative. It also opened all of our eyes to the broadness of civil engineering and also gave us some experience as to what is really like.