Junkyard Challenge
Do you have creative problem solvers and budding engineers?

Introducing the Junkyard Challenge – a new class for 2012 – where teams of 4 will be provided with a range of materials and be required to create a structure that will span 1.5 metres within a three hour time limit. This is a class for Primary students only. There is no cost to enter!

The types of materials available will be a mystery to the teams, but they are likely to include recycled items – some useful, some not! It will be up to the team to decide which materials they would like to use and how they will build their structure.

Mystery, Intrigue, Planning, Negotiating, Challenge, Competition – What more could you want?

Date & Time:

Saturday 24th November 2012, from 12pm-3pm.
Primary students only for 2012
No Cost to Enter!

Materials: Basic Pack

EACH team will receive a BASIC PACK consisting of:

  • Design pack: Paper & pencils.
  • Retractable tape measure.


  • 2 bike  tubes.
  • 6 pieces of tubing ( 2 thin, 4 thick).
  • 4-6 pieces pine (less than 50cm long)
  • 2 large boxes of thick cardboard.
  • Fine nib texta.


  • Scissors,
  • pliers,
  • hacksaw (2 blades)
  • silicon gun.
  • thin Stanley knife,
  • Cutting board (NOT TO BE USED IN STRUCTURE)


  • 2 rolls of gaffer tape.
  • 3 rolls of sticky tape.
  • Roll of thin tie wire.
  • 2 packet of zip ties.
  • Ball of Rubber bands
  • Ball of string.
  • Tube of silicon

Junkyard Challenge

Junkyard Materials:

Will be available on the day to assist your construction! (That’s the mystery)

There will be a work station where several adults will have a drill if needed. (The adults will operate this drill – No Children) & they will also hold spare Stanley blades, which THEY will replace if teams break theirs.

Tool Licence:

Students will be assessed at school as being proficient in the use of tools/safety when using tools (e.g. cutting away from the body).  These Licences can be accessed from this website shortly.


The teams will start with a 20 minute discussion time and then have 2 hours 40 minutes to build their structure.
Each team may bring a mentor with them to help during the discussion phase to assist in the sharing of ideas, but not to participate in the construction of the structure. The Mentors could be a parent/teacher. If the team is unable to organise a mentor, pleae let the Planning Committee know prior to the event.
Students may Barter & Swap what is in their BASIC PACKS during the time.

Finished Product

The structure MUST be able to support a 3 litre bottle of water (3kgs).

Judging Criteria

“The Best Bridge Trophy”

Judges will be looking for the structure that resolves the task, effectively and elegantly. Fitness for purpose and
aesthetically pleasing, will win the day.

Special Award – The “Gravity Challenge”
For the construction which holds the most weight in the Gravity Test.

Useful Links:

Websites which will encourage the students’ exploration of the broad range of bridge structures from around the world, plus information links that can be useful are:


Gain a greater understanding of bridges:

Sound like fun?