Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Students Use Popsicle Sticks To Engineer The Future...and Avoid Another Jamzilla

More than 250 students from 31 Southern California high schools will battle to build the strongest bridge and tackle America's aging infrastructure

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cheering over the collapse of a bridge doesn't happen every day.  But it will be a familiar sound at the 20th Annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition to be held on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). 

The public is invited to watch more than 250 students from 71 teams discover how much weight their model bridges, made of Popsicle sticks and white glue, can hold when tested in front of their peers, teachers and parents. Hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Younger Member Forum, the competition will draw 31 high schools from across Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties for a full-day celebration of math, science and engineering.

Ironically, as students work to create the infrastructure solutions of the future, L.A. commuters will face another major weekend lane closure during construction on the heavily-congested Interstate 405, nicknamed "Jamzilla" by local transportation officials.

"This competition teaches students much more than how to build cool bridges out of wood and glue," said Jonathan Levy, a member of CSUN's Civil Engineering and Construction Management Department's Advisory Board and founder of Beezley Management,  a construction management firm and event sponsor.  "Students learn about the daily challenges faced by civil engineers and other industry practitioners, and also about the importance of leadership, teamwork and creative problem-solving." 

Months in advance, student teams were challenged to design and build their Popsicle stick bridges following official rules.  During the competition, they will present a technical report, display board and oral presentation to a panel of engineers and other professionals serving as volunteer judges. 

The judges will then test the strength of each bridge on a loading machine to measure how much pressure it can sustain before collapsing.  Once a bridge fails, testing monitors will explain to the team why their bridge collapsed and how to make the design stronger in the future.

The winning teams will be selected based on strength, efficiency, aesthetics and overall presentation and will be awarded cash scholarships. Throughout the day, participating students will also have the chance to tour the campus and participate in a variety of impromptu events. 

Jennifer Heredia, who is co-chair of the event, an ASCE member and bridge engineer for HDR Inc., said that this will be the first visit to a college campus for many of the student participants.

"This bridge building competition is a great way to encourage students to pursue higher education and promote the civil engineering profession in our community," Heredia said. "Thanks to the support of our amazing volunteers and sponsors, we can help encourage and motivate our youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math."

The competition is free and open to the public. On-campus parking is available for $6 per day at parking structures B5, G3 and E6. The following is the event schedule:

8 to 9 a.m.

Students arrive

9 a.m.

Nazaret Dermendjian, chair of CSUN Department of Civil

Engineering and Construction Management, greets students at Plaza del Sol Quad

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All-day bridge testing at Jacaranda Hall, campus tours and impromptu events

5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Awards ceremony with remarks by Jonathan Levy, founder of Beezley

Management, and announcement of winning teams

Event sponsors include ASCE Los Angeles Section, AECOM, Beezley Management, Rail Pros, J.F. Shea and ARUP.  The competition will also locally kick off national Engineers' Week, observed throughout the country on Feb. 16-22, 2014. For more information, visit

SOURCE American Society of Civil Engineers Younger Member Forum

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Y...
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...