Students put “under pressure” at 27th Annual Bridge Building Competition

Sault College Bridge Building Contest 2016

Young students are preparing to “get crushed” this weekend as Sault College hosts its 27th Annual Bridge Building contest on Saturday May 7th in the Multimedia Centre. The grade 5 and 6 division – the youngest of the four divisions, will get underway first beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Multimedia Centre at Sault College.

“This competition is really exciting and students love designing their bridges and putting them to the test. It’s a great way to introduce students to the world of civil engineering,” states Ray Escasa, Bridge Building co-organizer and Sault College recruiter. “Area schools have embraced this event, incorporating the contest into their curriculum and we at Sault College are honoured to host the event.”

Hundreds of elementary school students from the community were given the opportunity to participate in Bridge Building informational clinics throughout the past few months. Sault
College’s Civil Engineering Technician program professors and student recruiters provided valuable tips and demonstrations on how to construct strong and sturdy bridges.

Civil and Architectural engineers from the community will be on hand to judge the construction of each bridge that is entered for aesthetics and structural ability. The bridges are then scored during a process of being crushed to test their strength. A load is applied to the top centre of each bridge and weight is applied to test the structures’ limits until the bridge is ultimately crushed.

Cash prizes will be awarded to contest winners. First-place winners in each category will receive $100. $75 will be awarded to each second-place winner and $50 will be given to third-place winners. In the grade 5/6 and 7/8 categories, additional smaller cash prizes will be awarded.

The International Bridge Administration has generously donated prizes for the top 3 winners in each of the three grade categories, Grade 5/6, Grade 7/8 and Grade 9-12:

  • 1st PLACE is a guided tour of the International Bridge
  • 2nd PLACE is mounted “50th anniversary piece of the bridge”
  • 3rd PLACE is ‘50th anniversary’ ball cap

1st Place for the Grade 9-12 Category is an International Bridge Arch Tour presented on behalf of the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority Board of Directors and the International Bridge Administration staff. This is a very exciting opportunity as the arch tours are not available to the general public and are offered on a limited basis to community organizations and service groups in support of educational and charitable programs.

This year’s sponsors of the popular event include the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), Professional Engineers Ontario, Algoma Chapter (PEO), Rotary Club North and OACETT – Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists, Sault Bridge Authority, School College Work Initiative (SCWI) and the International Bridge Administration.

Students may drop off their completed bridges at the College and register for the contest on Thursday May 5 from 3:30 to 8:00pm in Essar Hall. The Bridge Building event is open to the public, and free parking is available anywhere on campus. For details, please contact Sault College Student Recruitment at 759-2554, ext. 2490 or visit

About Sault College Civil Engineering Technician Program

The Civil Engineering Technician program is designed to prepare graduates with the basic skills and knowledge to enter the design and heavy construction fields. As a graduate, students can work as part of an engineering team or as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Graduates work in a variety of careers including computer-aided drafting and design (CAD), surveying, construction layout and inspection, field and laboratory testing, supervision and scheduling of projects, estimating, sales and marketing, as well as design and construction of municipal installations, highways, pipelines, and hydro-electric developments. Students may have the opportunity to be involved in applied research projects. Sault College, located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is one of 24 community colleges in Ontario. Visit our website at for more information.

About Sault College – #yestothebest

The vision of Sault College is to provide a transformative life experience through empowering those who study with us to think and learn in progressive, innovative ways, including those we have not yet imagined. Ranked the #1 English Language College in the province with a score of 85.4% in overall student satisfaction by students themselves, Sault College grants Ontario College certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, graduate certificates, and degrees to its graduates. The College is the largest deliverer of apprenticeship training in all of Northern Ontario. Educating over 2300 full-time and 4000 part-time students each year, Sault College has a significant economic impact on the community, with spin-offs in excess of $158 million. Over $1.8 million dollars in scholarships, bursaries and awards are distributed annually to students at the College. Located on the border to the United States and situated in the middle of three of the largest Great Lakes on the planet, Sault College is one of 24 publicly-funded colleges in the province of Ontario