Spaghetti Bridge Competition
I learned about the spaghetti bridge competitions, held at various engineering schools, in my Spanish conversation class.
"Each group is to build a bridge made from spaghetti and glue/epoxy. The object is to construct a bridge that will carry the heaviest load while still meeting specifications. Bridges will be loaded until they fail."
The teams attach a metal chain to the underside of the bridge and add weights until the bridge breaks. At one contest, according to my fellow Spanish student, the weights fell to the floor when the HOOK broke, not the bridge!
- The bridge is to be built from spaghetti (cylindrical forms of pasta) and glue, epoxy or resin.
- The bridge shall be free-standing and must span two level surfaces which are one meter apart.
- The bridge must include a decking of spaghetti to provide a suitable road surface at least 5cm wide across the full span of the bridge... A block of wood (5 cm x 5cm x 10 cm) representing a car must be able to move along the length of the decking unobstructed from end to end...
- You must incorporate a "loading platform" consisting of a U-bolt secured to a piece of plywood... All loads will be suspended from this U-bolt ... using an S-hook...
- The maximum weight of the bridge including the loading platform must not exceed 0.75 kilograms.
Note: These rules are essentially the same as those developed for contests at Okanagan University College. For a bridge meeting these restrictions, Okanagan claims a world record of 176 kilograms (388 pounds). [Pictures from the Okanagan event, which has a lot of international competitors, here.]
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