POPSICLE STICKS + GLUE + FLOSS = BRIDGE
20 Litres of White
Concordia Competition Bridges Are Ready
MARY GRACE DeGUZMAN
University of Calgary
engineering, and you usually think about building briges. Cliché
or not, that would be exactly what several University of Calgary engineering
students did. And they did it very well.
Imagine a structure just under four kilograms -- supporting a load of
hundreds and even thousands of kilograms. Imagine that this structure
was created from the humblest of materials, mere Popsicle sticks.
March 9, 2001, marked the 17th annual Concordia Popsicle Bridge Building
Competition at Concordia University in Montreal. The competition included
more than 35 universities from all across North America, including a team
from France. This year, the U of C sent two teams of civil engineering
students, made up of Monica Chow, Angela Leuw, Alpa Modi, Stan Wojciezczyk,
Shamshir Jessa, Kristian Hawkins, Danica Dobruk, Peter Truch, John Hallett,
and Stephen Kay Students were to design a bridge, constructed of only
Popsicle sticks, white glue and dental floss. How many Popsicle sticks
were used for one bridge? About 30,000. And glue? Approximately 20 liters
was necessary for the competition. The bridges were judged on creativity
(10 per cent), esthetics (25 per cent), and resistance factor (65 per
of the competition placed the University of Calgary in eighth place (supporting
800 kg) and 10th (supporting 630 kg). Also awarded to the eighth-place
team was the best esthetics, for the second year running.
Winning the competition was a bridge weighing about 1.6kg that maintained
a load of 1,800 kg. However, it is important to note that the U of C holds
the competition record in the amount of sustained load. Last year, a bridge
weighing just under four kg carried 5,030 kg!
The students did an excellent job and would like to thank their numerous
sponsors for all their generous contributions. The experience was not
only a learning opportunity but was also a lot of fun.
Welcoming prospective students and wooing them to the wonders of the
engineering world, is no small feat. Nonetheless, early Saturday March
10, more than 50 student volunteers rose to the challenge, and welcomed
176 high school students from all across Canada. Organized by the Engineering
Students' Society and the Faculty of Engineering, tours of the Engineering
building, ICT building and of the various departments were given. In addition,
the new students participated in a design competition, constructing a
"Fuzzy Peach (candy) Transport
Though perhaps most importantly, new students were provided with an opportunity
to mingle with current students, hence disclosing to them the stories
of engineering life and legacies. Hopefully after that day, these prospective
students will return.
Without a doubt, new and old students enjoyed the event. "I think
both the high school students and volunteers had a rewarding experience.
The students got to know more about engineering and the volunteers got
a chance to give back to the university," says Devon Sharma, external
commissioner and one of the organizers of the 2001 Open House.