Students Show Off Engineering Skills in Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition

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CSULB hosts Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition

The Popsicle stick bridges will be judged on strength, efficiency, aesthetics.

This weekend about 250 students from 23 high schools throughout Southern California will compete in the 18th Annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition. A local precursor to National Engineering Week, the all-day event is a part of an on-going effort to promote engineering and science education to students.

Students build bridges out of ordinary popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue before arriving at the contest with each high school allowed a maximum of two teams. The bridges are judged on several categories, including strength, efficiency, aesthetics and overall presentation. In the past, bridges weighing less than one pound have held more than 1,000 pounds. 

The competition encourages teamwork, analytical thinking, and presentation techniques while accentuating math and science skills. A panel of judges from the local civil engineering and construction community will rate the high school teams in the various categories throughout the day and determine the winners. Students will compete for recognition and scholarships. Each team has four members, and the overall first-place team will win four $250 scholarships totaling $1,000.

Represented high schools are from various cities, including Ontario, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Torrance, Harbor City, Simi Valley, Sylmar, San Gabriel, La Puente, San Pedro, Norwalk, Alhambra, Garden Grove, Fontana, Santee and Panorama City.

The contest will be held Friday, Feb. 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Engineering Building 3 and the Beach Ballroom on the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) campus. CSULB is located at 1250 Bellflower Blvd. with easy access from the 405 and 605 freeways.

Registration for the contest will begin at 7 a.m. with an opening keynote speech set to begin at 8 a.m. in the Beach Ballroom of the University Student Union. Strength testing, team presentations and an impromptu building opportunity will take place throughout the day, beginning at 8:40 a.m. and running through about 3:20 p.m. The awards and recognition ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers Orange County Younger Member Forum in conjunction with the Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch. The keynote speaker for the event will be Jennifer Epp, the Region 9 director of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Photo by Seattle.roamer

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