Engineers and Geoscientists BC

APEGBC Branches Host Events Around BC for National Engineering and Geoscience Month

Posted on April 3, 2017
APEGBC Branches Host Events Around BC for National Engineering and Geoscience Month
To celebrate National Engineering and Geoscience Month this year, members of APEGBC's branches made presentations to student and community groups and challenged members of their local communities to construct bridge models that would withstand forces and pressures. More than a dozen branch events were held in shopping centres, recreation centres, public libraries, and schools around BC.

Below, we showcase a few of the events. More photos and event summaries will be added as we receive them.

Richmond–Delta Branch

Science and Engineering Fair and Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition

Richmond-Delta4-(2).jpgRichmond–Delta Branch held its annual Science and Engineering Fair and Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition at the Richmond Public Library’s Brighouse Library, March 4. The event began with a Science World presentation about science. University of British Columbia student engineering student groups showcased their projects, include the UBC sailbot, UBC thunderbot, UBC steel bridge, UBC concrete canoe, UBC orbit, UBC Formulae One, alongside displays about roofing, geology, and City of Richmond and City of Delta projects. The displays engaged hundreds of students and adults, and gave information from the world of engineering, geoscience and city works.

At the Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition, more than 50 bridges were tested on the branch’s infamous bridge buster, with the branch’s bridge-load record broken three times. The previous record of 711 lb. (322.5 kg) was set 2013 by a UBC civil engineering team. At the NEGM 2017 event, bridges submitted by competitors in the Grade 10 and under category set new records, first of 736 lb., then of 915 lb. A bridge submitted in the Open category withstood 905 lb. of pressure. In 2013, model bridges were constructed from 75 popsicle sticks maximum; this year, the limit on number of popsicle sticks that could be used to build a bridge was increased to 100—setting a new standard in model-bridge building, as well as the competition’s new record of 915 lb.

East Kootenays Branch

Events for Students and Bridge Building Competitions

East-Kootenay-2.jpgEast Kootenay Branch members assisted at a spaghetti bridge building competition at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, BC. Local middle school students were invited to attend and participate in one of three events depending on their grade:  gravity car building from recycled materials, spaghetti bridge building, or building furniture from newspaper.

Paul Knipe from Mount Baker Senior Secondary was the mastermind behind the spaghetti bridge contest. APEGBC members spent the morning with an enthusiastic and industrious group of kids, with a touch of coaching, a lot of encouraging, and a bit of teaching along the way.

East Kootenay Branch members also visited the Grade 3–4 class at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Cranbrook, BC, where they taught the students about engineering, the origin and importance of the Iron Ring, and discussed how engineers and geoscientists are influential in all aspects of their lives. Given the class had just completed a study of energy transformation, the branch members also provided examples of local energy transformation infrastructure and real life examples in the classroom about energy.

After the interactive session, the students built bridges, using folded up pieces of paper, to support figurines. They built bridges of varying spans, on their own accord, to check different load-carrying capacities, refolding their papers each time. It was a boisterous affair, with dozens of bridges tested quickly.  

Vancouver Branch

Engineering and Geoscience Fest 2017

Vanc-EG-Fest-booth-(1).jpgVancouver Branch held its 2017 Engineering and Geoscience Fest, on March 11, in collaboration with the Vancouver Public Library. Organizations, clubs and companies provided displays from across all disciplines of the engineering and geoscience industries, helping to make the event a great success. Students showcased their latest projects. Industry professionals spoke about their work. Library and APEGBC staff provided information to anyone interested in engineering and geoscience career paths. 

Vancouver Branch thanks all of the volunteers and organizations who came out to make this event a success.


Peace River Branch

Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition


Peace River Branch's annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition drew a crowd that filled a set of gymnasium bleachers at Fort St. John's Dr. Kearney Middle School, on March 11.

This year, 169 bridges were submitted and tested until breaking point, and prize money was awarded to the top performing bridges.

Students attending the event also participated in a challenge to mine for chocolate chunks from chocolate chip cookies using toothpicks with the objective of minimizing damage to the flour portion of the cookie. Connections were made to the real world where engineers and geoscientists are often tasked with the challenge of extracting precious resources from the land while minimizing damage to the earth. Students loved this challenge—especially as they were able to eat the cookie when done!

The Peace River Branch plans to host two other Popsicle Stick Bridge Competitions in the upcoming months in the communities of Tumbler Ridge and Fort Nelson.

Central Interior Branch

Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition


Sixty-five people competed in Central Interior Branch’s 2017 popsicle stick bridge building competition in Prince George, BC, as part of NEGM, donating enough food items to fill four grocery bags for the local food bank. The branch awarded $800 in cash prizes, $180 in gift cards, plus handfuls items donated by APEGBC items and local companies. The event also showcased a robotic arm display from ASTTBC, and a GeoRocks display setup by local geoscientists.

A record number of sponsors supported this year’s contest. Many thanks to Radloff, Pittman Asphalt, Prince George, BC (A Division of YCS Holdings, Ltd.), Forbes Industrial Contractors Ltd., Gairns Santos Engineering Inc, DWB Consulting Services Ltd, International Quest Engineering Ltd., WorkTek, Majestic Bridge Building Inc., GeoNorth Engineering Ltd., Clean Energy Consulting Inc., Chinook Scaffold Systems Ltd., CanFor, Tyrod Industries Ltd., as well as to the 15 volunteers who helped run and promote the event and to Pine Centre mall staff.

Tri City Branch

Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition


Tri City Branch held its annual NEGM Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition on April 8, 2017, at Douglas College. Twenty branch volunteers came together to make the event a success, with 128 bridges entered into the competition. Thanks to excellent school and community outreach, many of the entries were supported by teachers, while other entries were submitted by community groups such as Under the GUI - Coding for Kids, Science Al!ve at SFU, Robokids and UME Academy.

Donors included Mitsubishi Electric, Lafarge Concrete, and Suncor and City of Coquitlam employees. WSP loaned the two bridge-testing machines.