Whitehorse – A few new bridges are going up in Whitehorse this weekend – 132 of them, to be exact. That’s the number of entries in the 24th Annual Bridge Building competition taking place at Porter Creek Secondary School this Saturday, April 8.
The event, organized by Science Adventures at Yukon College and Engineers Yukon, attracted 211 students from 13 schools in the territory.
Tantalus Community School in Carmacks has the most entries, with 20 bridges. Ghùch Tlâ Community School in Carcross, and Jack Hulland Elementary in Whitehorse follow closely, with 19 bridges each.
The contest challenges teams of up to four students to build the lightest bridge capable of holding the most weight. To achieve this, contestants use wooden coffee stir sticks, white glue and dental floss.
In preparation for the event, members of Engineers Yukon made school presentations in French and English about bridge building techniques, as well as other fascinating engineering topics. Four schools in Whitehorse and Robert Service School in Dawson City took advantage of the program.
Prizes will also be awarded in each age category: grade three to five, grade six to seven, grade eight to 12, an open category, and the All-Can for community members and groups. There are special prizes for best narrative, best looking, strongest, and lightest bridges. Each competitor also receives a certificate that includes a photo of their bridge and a participation prize.
The event will be emceed by John Streicker, Minister of Community Services, and Tracy-Anne McPhee, Minister of Education.
Contestants can drop off their bridges at Porter Creek Secondary from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 7. The public may view the bridges beginning at noon on Saturday April 8. The competition begins at 1 p.m. A large slow motion replay screen will feature the tests. A public concession stand will keep everyone fueled for the day.