PROVINCIAL SCHOOL CHALLENGES
"The oldest engineering work devised by man, the bridge is
the only one universally employed by him in his pre-civilized state."
Joseph Gies, Bridges and Men
This year all grades will compete in the same challenge - construction
of a popsicle stick bridge. APEGGA challenges Alberta students to
build the lightest and strongest popsicle stick bridge.
Prizes will be awarded to the teams who build the top three bridges
in each of the following divisions: grades 1-3, grades 4-6, grades
7-9 and grades 10-
Teams must expect their bridge to be tested until it collapses.
To use math and science to implement engineering concepts in the
design and construction of a model bridge from your own plans that
will carry a maximum load while using as few popsicle sticks as
possible, and to develop neatness, craftsmanship and creativity.
· Maximum of 100 popsicle sticks or craft sticks (11.43 cm
long and 0.025 cm thick)
· Water soluble Elmer's type white glue must be used
· Weights to test the bridge (e.g. science lab weights, bar
· Two strong horizontal platforms (tables, chairs, etc.)
to support the bridge
· Scale, tape measure, camera, paper, pen
HELPFUL ITEMS FOR BUILDERS
· Pencil, paper, ruler or tape measure
· Clips, rubber bands and weights (to clamp pieces together
when the glue is drying)
It is a good idea to sketch a diagram of your bridge before you
RULES FOR GRADES 1-6
o Length must be between 26-31 cm and must span a 23 cm gap
o Width must be between 10-13 cm
o Glue must only be applied where wood contacts wood.
o The centre top span of the bridge must have a flat 9 cm by 9 cm
area to support weights.
o Bridge must be open at both ends and deck must be free of obstructions
(e.g. toy vehicle should be able to travel across bridge).
o Bridge may not have a roof, covering or any other object that will
interfere with weights applied to the midspan of the bridge.
o Bridge must rest on supports in a stable manner.
RULES FOR GRADES 7-12
- Length must be between 38-43 cm and must span a 36 cm gap
- Width must be between 10-13 cm
- Maximum height above top of roadway: 16 cm
- Maximum depth below top of roadway: 9 cm
- Minimum width of open roadway running entire length of bridge:
- Only popsicle sticks and glue may be used to construct the
- Popsicle sticks may be cut.
- Glue must only be used at joints, and must not be used on the
surface of the roadway.
- No coatings of any kind, including glue, paint, cement, epoxy,
etc. may be applied to any surface of the bridge. The bridge will
be disqualified if it is coated with any substance.
- The centre top span of the bridge must have a flat 9 cm by
9 cm area to support weights.
- Bridge may not have a roof, covering or any other object that
will interfere with weights applied to the midspan of the bridge.
- Bridge must