Junior and Key Stage 3 Pupils at Ramillies Hall were challenged in D&T this week to work in small teams to design and build a bridge, entirely of paper, to span a 1M gap and to support a minimum of 1 D&T sketchbook, with an aim of supporting 10. And they only had about 45 minutes’ construction time!

The pupils rose to the challenge and nearly all groups succeeded in the basic task, with some groups excelling – the most books held by a paper bridge was 14! The challenge involved deciding the construction technique they wished to use, dividing up the jobs required to build the bridge, the creation of component parts and the assembly of the structure. The time constraint worked against those with the most elaborate designs; the winning bridges in each group, except one, consisted of bundles of paper tubes. This was a deliberate ploy for one Junior group who asked what had been the most successful design so far and decided to factor in the time constraint when choosing which build method to use. Their bridge held 9 books. The most elegant design held 8 books before a single weak joint failed causing the bridge to collapse – had that one joint been better constructed, that bridge may have beaten the 14 book record!

Congratulations to all the pupils involved.