Engineering students build bridge

Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 7:20pm

An assignment in the USU-CEU’s engineering class fall semester 2010 was creating and building a bridge that could weigh no more than .22 pounds (100 grams), span a gap of at least 11.811 inches (300 millimeters) and hold as much weight as possible. Students from Carbon, Emery and Grand County high schools also participated in the competition.

The 80-plus college and high school students spent the final weeks before the holiday break working on the project before debuting their results Dec. 3 on the Price campus. Engineering teacher, Kyle Larsen, Ph.D., directed the USU-CEU students; science teachers: Dan Taylor, Carbon High; Lee Moss, Emery High; and Mary Irvin, Grand High; challenged their science students to create bridges within the specifications.

According to Larsen, the bridges were made from balsa wood. Balsa wood was used since pound for pound, it is remarkably strong for its weight. The winning design held over 160 pounds. “That is an amazing strength-to-weight ratio of over 726 to 1,” he said.

USU-CEU students Brad Brinkerhoff, Chance Ariotti and Louis Santi were part of the winning group.

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