Beech Hall School

Building Bridges at Beech Hall School

Pupils from Beech Hall School have put their design skills to the ultimate test in a technical bridge building competition, competing to secure the much-coveted first place prize.


Junior pupils at the Tytherington-based school were set the challenging task to design and build a sturdy bridge. The prototype was required to span a gap of 60cm and support a model truck with a minimum load of 300g, allowing the vehicle to pass along the length of the bridge.


The completed bridges were tested to ensure they met the exhaustive design criteria and to trial how much weight they could carry – impressively, all achieved at least 1.4kg and some as much as an astonishing 10.2kg. After much-deliberation and taking into consideration appearance, cost of materials and load capacity, the two winning designers were triumphantly crowned.


Many pupils chose to rise to the challenge independently while others opted to compete in pairs for the intense competition, which was hosted in the new, state-of-the-art Design Technology practical workshop. 


As part of their Design Technology lessons, junior pupils have been learning about structures and how materials can be used efficiently to make stable structures. They explored a variety of existing bridge designs and experimented with folding and assembling sheet materials, to create stiff structures through techniques such as triangulation and creating beams.


Headmaster, James Allen, commented: “It was great to see the diversity of design solutions created by our pupils in this technically challenging competition, from Tied Arch bridges, Beam brides, Arch bridges, a full Cable Suspension bridge and even a raising bridge inspired by Tower Bridge, London – the competition was tough!”


“Our new Design Technology facility provides ample opportunities for our pupils to participate in unique challenges such as this, engaging them with the curriculum while encouraging healthy competition.”