Short tension span

Mar. 9, 2020 | Our young engineers are testing their mettle (and wood) in the technology lab this week.
After many weeks of planning and construction, our Form III Science and Technology students are finally testing their bridge-building skills. The project is a new addition to the syllabus, inspired by the Civil Engineering Contest held at nearby Université de Sherbrooke. The current stage of the project involves students experimenting with a variety of bridge designs and load spreading systems. Armed with stir sticks and an abundance of hot glue, each group invented their own design—some prioritizing a limited use of materials, others focussing on pure strength, and others setting realism and decoration as their primary concern. The load testing began on Friday and continued today as Ms. Lamb weighed down each structure until its breaking point. While a few bridges have yet to be tested, the current record is held by Luis, Sebastian, Gavin, Hanzhi, and Teo, whose bridge held over 25 kilograms. Unfortunately, the exact strength isn't known since they ran out of weights to add! In the end, the only way to break the structure was to have Zack, a visiting student from Alexander Galt Regional High School, sit on the bridge.

Once all the bridges have been tested, the strongest designs will be recreated at a larger scale using full-sized Popsicle sticks and submitted to the high school age category of the Civil Engineering Contest. The students who designed the original winning bridges will be tasked with leading the project and coordinating the larger group as they all work together on the build. We're excited to see how our students fare at the competition as they attempt to bring home the $1,000 grand prize!

Bishop's College School is an independent English-language boarding and day school for grades 7 to 12 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.