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ASCE 22nd Annual Toothpick Bridge Competition

February 24, 2017

This spring, the High Bay Lab was proud to host the 22nd Annual Toothpick BridgeCompetition for the second time. 

Organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on February 25. The regional contestwas hosted by the Civil Engineering Department of UMD’s Swenson College of Science & Engineering. 

The students competed for awards in strongest and most aesthetically pleasing bridge categories. Many UMD students, faculty and staff were on hand to help with the event and provide tours of the engineering departments and labs. 

Entries in the strongest bridge competition had to weigh less than 90 ounces. High schoolers from Bayfield, WI took first prize by designing a structure that supported an amazing total of 191 pounds!high school students were able to see what they can do with toothpicks and architecture on a small scale. Students from a dozen regional high schools competed for strength and creativity for their bridge structures.

The bridges weighed only about a third of a pound, but some can hold 150 pounds. Students were also judged on their bridge's appearance. Some put so much work into their project that they did not want the bridge tested, since this would destroy their creation.

John Hinzman, a member of ASCE stated, "We believe this is an excellent learning experience for students who possibly want to get into engineering or understand engineering a little better."

Visit the Swenson College of Science and Engineering website