Technology Tournament 2016

Thu 17th March 2016 at 9.00 am - 9.00 am

Report on The Rotary Technology Tournament Held at The Bushey Academy

Rotary Technology Tournament

The Bridge

The Tournament was held in the Great Hall at The Bushey Academy organised by the Rotary Clubs of Rickmansworth and Watford (assisted by Elstree & Borehamwood Rotary Club). The main organisers were John Spragg of Rickmansworth Rotary Club and Malcolm Jones of Watford Rotary Club.

Seven schools from the area took part, providing a total of twenty teams. The participating were, Merchant Taylors’ School, Saint Helen’s School, Parmiter’s School, Bushey Meads School, The Bushey Academy, Queens’ School Bushey and for the first time Watford UTC. The young bridge engineers had an enjoyable day while educating themselves in some basic principles of structural and mechanical engineering.

The task involved the design, construction and testing of a bridge over a river at the entrance to a busy port. The bridge design brief required two sections, one permanent and the other articulated to allow the passage of tall ships. The main materials provided were card, straws and string and the completed bridges were tested with a hefty one kilogram steel block pulled across the structure before and after operating the opening section. There were three base board layouts providing three degrees of difficulty (Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced). The task was approached with enthusiasm and ingenuity by the students. Saint Helen’s School won the Foundation level, Merchant Taylors’ School won the Intermediate level and Parmiter’s School won the Advanced level.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Hertsmere were due to attend the event and present the prizes and certificates. However, due to a last minute family emergency they were unable to attend. The breach was amply filled by a past Mayor of Hertsmere, Paul Morris. The event was also attended by the Chairman of Three Rivers Council, Cllr Eric Bishop and Freemen of the Borough of Watford, Norman and Mavis Tyrwitt. We were also fortunate to be visited by one of our Sponsors, Adam Ginder of M K Ginder and Sons.

We are most grateful to all who helped and to The Bushey Academy for hosting the event in the Academy’s refurbished Great Hall. The Academy provided considerable support throughout the day, including refreshments for everyone, and lunch for the Rotarians and their guests.

The tournament was sponsored by M K Ginder & Sons, Pharmasure Ltd., Bechtel Ltd., Mc Nicholas, Watford Timber and Pacific Steelwith; certificates were printed by Metroprint free of charge.

Without the continued financial and material support from these sponsors, the time given by local Rotarians and the support from The Bushey Academy it would not be possible to stage this event; thank you to all those involved.


Dr Malcolm Jones (Rotary Club of Watford)

John Spragg (Rotary Club of Rickmansworth)