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NEWS
Kids Gather for Popsicle Bridge-Building Contest
March 11, 2010


Annual Popsicle Bridge Contest at the Science Museum, hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Richmond Joint Engineers Council.

150 Middle and High school students from around the area participated in the Annual Popsicle Bridge Contest at the Science Museum, hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE and the Richmond Joint Engineers Council (RJEC).

This year marked the15th consecutive year that the ASCE Richmond Branch has hosted the event and had the largest turnout yet. The contest took place during the Careers in Engineering Field Day, partially sponsored by local firm Austin Brockenbrough & Associates.

As part of the bridge contest, students competed for a variety of awards including the Most Aesthetically Pleasing Bridge and the Most Innovative Bridge. Additionally, one team of students was able to beat the score of a bridge designed by ASCE members for which they received special recognition. Of course, the bridges were also tested to determine the maximum load that each could take before failure. The winners were determined based on an efficiency rating which factored in the weight of the bridge in addition to its maximum load capacity. Many of the bridges achieved loads around 400 lbs which is quite impressive considering that the bridges could only be constructed of standard sized Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s Multi-Purpose Glue.

Twenty-five ASCE members and industry personnel volunteered at the event. In addition to judging and testing the projects, these volunteers also helped educate the students at the event about what it is to work as a Civil Engineer. A special thanks to everyone who volunteered to help with the event, including Brockenbrough’s own Mike Howell, who led the event, is a Structural Engineer with Brockenbrough, and also the Education Outreach Chair for the Richmond Chapter of ASCE.


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