Weight and See: Engineering Teams Compete to Build the
Strongest Spaghetti Bridge
Engineering students will put their pasta structures
to the test on Sunday, Nov. 7, during the
11th annual Spaghetti Bridge Contest. Working in groups of
two or three, student teams are expected to enter about 20
bridges in the competition, which will be held in the Glass
Pavilion at Levering Hall on the Homewood campus.
Under the rules of the contest, the bridges can only
be made of spaghetti and glue (epoxy or resin). Each
free-standing bridge must span two level surfaces that are
one meter apart. Each bridge must include a decking of
spaghetti wide enough to allow a "car," represented by a
small block of wood, to pass over it.
During the judging, increments of weight are gradually
added to a platform suspended from the middle of each
bridge until the structure snaps. Its score is the greatest
amount of weight the bridge carried before the collapse. To
date, the best student bridge has held 64 kilograms (140
lbs.). The winning team receives a $100 prize.
The event is free, and spectators are welcome. Bridges
will go on display at 1:30 p.m. The weight competition
begins at 3 p.m.
The spaghetti bridge contest is one of the most
challenging assignments in an introductory course called
What is Engineering? Students typically learn important
concepts involving the design, construction and testing of
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