task for this event is to construct an operational free-standing
pillar within the constraints imposed by the rules of this event.
The winner will be the team which predicts the greatest operational
load value for their pillar, provided the pillar actually holds
this load. Competitors must realize that their pillar may be
tested to its breaking point!
of 100 popsicle sticks
inch piece of plywood (36 cm x 36 cm) to serve as the base for
the popsicle stick
inch piece of plywood (22 cm x 22 cm) to serve as the platform
on the top of the popsicle
stick pillar (upon which the load will be placed)
of 12 woodnails to fasten the base and platform to the pillar
should be given a total of one hour within which to complete
the construction and testing of their pillar. 30 minutes
will be allocated for construction. Students will then have
10 minutes within which to determine the operational load
value of their pillar, record it and submit it to the judges.
pillar is to be constructed of popsicle sticks and any type
of glue. No other materials are permitted. A maximum
of 100 popsicle sticks may be used. Glue should be confined
to the spaces between the sticks. Note: Excessive
amounts of glue appearing on exposed stick surfaces should
result in disqualification of the entry.
the pillar: The pillar must be mounted on a base made of
¾ inch plywood (36 cm x 36 cm). A piece of ¾ inch plywood
(22 cm x 22 cm) must be mounted on the top of the pillar
to support the operational load. To mount the pillar on
the plywood base and platform you may attach the popsicle
sticks to either the flat surfaces or edges of the plywood
using glue or nails. Nails MAY NOT be used in the
design of the pillar. To facilitate the mounting of the
pillar, competitors may bevel the sides or create notches
in the construction area of the plywood base and platform.
the plywood base and platform are mounted in the horizontal
plane, the vertical height of the pillar from the top of
the base to the top of the platform must be 45 cm ± 1 cm,
measured on the perpendicular from the plywood base.
certain that the area on the platform where the operational
load is placed is clear of any popsicle sticks.
teams must provide the judges with a predicted "operational
load value" for their pillar. The operational load value
is the maximum weight you think your pillar can hold for
at least 5 seconds. This value should be clearly written
on a piece of paper and sealed inside an envelope with the
team name on front. This "operational value" must be kept
confidential until the actual time of testing for your pillar.
Once the pillar and predicted load has been submitted to
the judges, no changes may be made to the pillar or predicted
pillar must meet the construction requirements of this event.
pillar with the greatest prediction (operational load value)
that successfully holds that predicted load for at least
5 seconds would be declared the winner.
will not be allowed to touch their pillar once the judges
have declared that construction time is up, nor will they
be allowed contact with their pillar before or during weight
will be responsible for placing and removing the correct
weight values on each pillar.
the event of a tie, the most aesthetically pleasing pillar
will be the winner.
to Talk About
is weight distributed? Civil engineers are required to design
and build structures that may be required to withstand enormous
amounts of weight. What sorts of techniques can be used to
make structures stronger?
kind of every day buildings and structures use the same techniques
as the ones use in the pillar building contest?
- how are materials connected together?
of forces throughout the structure.