FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Spectators cheering each bridge as the “crusher” does its job is the highlight of the annual Engineers Week High School Bridge Contest, which takes place this Saturday, February 22.
Area high school students are challenged by the Northeast Indiana Engineer's Week Committee to design and build a bridge that will outlast the competition. Hosted by the Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science (ETCS), the first bridges begin testing at 9:30 a.m. in the ETCS lobby. The public is welcome to watch the competing bridges as they are loaded until failure.
As part of Engineers Week at IPFW, the competition challenges students in the areas of engineering design, model construction, and creativity. Contestants build their bridges prior to the competition using a maximum of 200 Popsicle sticks and yellow wood glue. The lightest bridge to span a 24-inch gap holding the maximum load with minimum deflection (bend) wins. Students may enter as individuals or as a team with a maximum of three members. Prizes range from $100 to $250 from the Northeast Indiana Engineer's Week Committee and contributing sponsors.
Find rules, bridge specifications, and online registration at the Engineers Week website. This contest for high school students is free, but registration is required in order to participate.