News and Events
Volume 1 - Edition 7
December 10, 2004
Polar Stick Bridge Competition
Tuesday, November 16
There were a few ‘weighty’ issues Tuesday afternoon at the Spencer Engineering Building as 14 teams of first-year Western Engineering students and local high school students ‘bridged’ the gap and put Nestle Polar Sticks to the ultimate test.

Each team was provided with 1 kg of Nestle Polar Sticks, 100 ml of glue and one spool of floss to design and build a bridge to be tested for aesthetics and construction strength.

Tests were done by applying cast iron weights to a loading bar suspended from the various bridges. Some cracked upon applying the first 10 kg, while others withstood over 100 kg of weight.

The winning bridge, built by first-year Western Engineering student Hiran Perera, was still standing after all 300 kg of cast iron weights were applied. To further test Perera’s bridge to its breaking point, the “Bridge Buster” hydraulic testing equipment was needed.

An additional 39 kg of weight was applied, bringing the total to 339 kg for Perera’s creation, named Best Overall Bridge and Best Bridge Built by a First-Year Engineering Student.

“Watching the team apply so much weight to my bridge was nerve-wracking but satisfying,” says Perera, no stranger to the Polar Stick Bridge Competition. Last year he placed third in the competition while participating as an Oakridge High School student.

“I took last years design and simplified it to withstand a load at one specific point rather than evenly distributed across the entire bridge,” says Perera. “I plan to fix my winning bridge and hang it on my bedroom wall next to my bridge from last year.”

Other winners included Matt Caroll, Oakridge Secondary School (Best Bridge Built by a High School Student); and Jon Martin and Joe Dai, H.B. Beal Secondary School (Most Aesthetically Pleasing Bridge).

First-year Western Engineering student Hiran Perera and his winning bridge.

Matt Caroll, Oakridge Secondary School won Best Bridge Built by a High School Student.

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Last Updated: 04/03/05