Monday, April 17, 2017

Vermont Middle Level Bridge Building Competition

Peoples Academy Middle Level were big winners in the Vermont Bridge Building Competition!

Wednesday - before the competition

Four Peoples Academy Middle Level students and their faculty advisor traveled to Vermont Technical College in Randolph, VT to participate in the 3rd annual Vermont Tech Bridge Building Competition on April 13, 2017. The 6th grade students (Noble Beerworth, Jacob Fougere, Anna Isselhardt, and Josephine Simone, all 11 years old) competed against 45 other Middle School teams from all over Vermont. Their advisor was Peoples Academy’s design and technology teacher, Karsten Weiss.

The students’ bridge was constructed to exact specifications entirely from popsicle sticks and white glue. The team met with their advisor daily, sometimes multiple times per day, and on two weekend days since last September. They completed the structure, designed as a combination of a tied arch with an arch truss, with plenty of time for the glue to harden.
The bridge won 2nd prize in Aesthetics and Originality of Design, 1st prize in Presentation and Team Spirit, 1st prize in Maximum Carrying Capacity, 1st prize in Structural Efficiency, and the Grand Prize as the Overall Best Bridge. The bridge supported 1089 lbs (over 800lbs more than the second place bridge tested that day). The strongest of the High School bridges this year (which were tested at VTC on March 31) held 660 lbs. The PAML bridge actually exceeded the testing gauge’s 1000lbs capacity, and it was difficult to determine precisely how much it had held. Fortunately, a video recording of the gauge during the testing allowed the judges to declare the maximum load.
Friday - back home victorious!

The students were obviously very proud of their accomplishment, are looking forward to improving the design, and competing again next year. The whole Peoples Academy Middle Level is proud of them too!