March 2020

NEGM: Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition

Hosted by the South Central Branch

Status: For more information about this event, please contact [email protected] Thank you!
Date: Saturday, March 7, 2020
Time: 9:30 AM–3:30 PM
Location: Thompson Rivers University - Old Main Building Room OM 2621, Kamloops, BC
Cost: Free
Contact: Email: [email protected]
Please join the South Central Branch for their annual Bridge Building Competition. This event is part of National Engineering and Geoscience Month (NEGM); an annual celebration of engineering and geoscience across Canada. The goal of this celebration is to promote the awareness of the engineering and geoscience professions, showcase career choices, and the many ways in which engineering and geoscience relate to our everyday life. The goal of the contest is to construct the strongest bridge possible with 100 Popsicle sticks and white glue. The bridge must span a 500 mm gap; otherwise, the design of the bridge is left up to the competitor.

Event Schedule

  • 9:30 AM: Sign In
  • 10:00 AM: Opening Ceremony
  • 10:15 AM: Elementary
  • 11:45 AM: Secondary
  • 1:30 PM: Open
  • 2:30 PM: Corporate

Age Categories

  • Elementary: Grade 7 and Under
  • Secondary: Grade 8–12
  • Open: Public, mixed category, and university students (except P.Eng.)
  • Corporate: Open to professional engineers or engineering firms only

Competition Rules


  • The bridge must be built with a maximum of 100 Popsicle sticks and white all purpose glue, white wood glue or white/yellow carpenters glue. No other glues are acceptable.
  • Popsicle sticks must be left whole. They must not be cut, split, or otherwise altered.
  • The bridge must span a 500mm gap and fit within the attached clearance envelope. We recommend that the bridge be at least 550mm long to ensure that the bridge does not fall through the 500mm gap when the load is applied.
  • The highest centre portion of the bridge must be designed to contact a 100mm wide loading plate through which the “Bridge Buster” will apply loading to the bridge.
  • Bridges will be inspected at registration. Any violations of the rules outlined above will result in disqualification from the official results, but the contestant(s) will still be allowed to have their bridge tested unofficially.


  • Bridges will be weighed before being loaded. In the event of a tie, the lightest bridge wins.
  • Bridges will be loaded from the top with a loading plate as described in 4 above and shown in the diagram below. Loading will be increased and measured electronically until the bridge fails.
  • For the safety of all involved, bridge loading will be done behind a protective screen. Contestants and spectators will always be expected to stand clear of the loading area and follow directions of officials during the event.
  • The winner is the bridge that holds the largest load prior to failure.
  • All bridges will be loaded to the point of failure unless the contestant decides not to continue with incremental loads in order to save their bridge!


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