03 March 2012, check-in beginning at 10:30 am
Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chambers
for BBC 2012 please visit
enter required fields and click submit once only.
Also please bring some spare popsicle sticks, glue, construction paper for any last minute modifications, repairs to bridge and containers of used glue to assist in judging process.
- Competitors will build a bridge using ONLY:
- Popsicle sticks
- White School Glue
- Construction paper
- Your bridge will be evaluated by the following measures:
- Quantitative: Load tested performance
- Qualitative: Other qualities including your design process
- There are two grade divisions
- Grades 3 to 6
- Grades 7 and 8
- A team may consist of one, two, or three students.
- Each team will be required to pay an entry fee of $6.00 per team payable by cash or check at the time of 'Bridge' registration on the competition day.
- To qualify for entry, completed Entry Forms must be submitted for each team by the February 17, 2012
- Registration to be done at following URL
1. The main structure of the bridge must be constructed only of wooden Popsicle sticks and white glue.
Construction paper is only to be used for the deck of the bridge, which can be cut to fit the design of the bridge.
- The only construction materials allowed are:
- Regular white all-purpose glue
- Standard wooden Popsicle sticks
- Construction paper
- Competitors will build a bridge using ONLY:
- NOTE: Refer to Picture 1
for an example picture of white glue and Popsicle sticks
Your bridge MUST conform to following specifications:
See Figure 1 and Figure 2
- The total weight must not exceed as follows:
Senior Category -250 grams.
Junior Category - 300 grams
- Your bridge must rest steadily on two supports of the testing machine. The clear distance between these two supports is 500 mm.
- Design your bridge long enough not to slip or fall through this span under load. Remember that materials bend when loaded (we suggest a minimum bridge length of 550 mm).
- The travelled portion of your bridge must be at least 60 mm wide, capable of transporting two matchbox cars (each car’s dimensions are approximately 30 mm wide x 70 mm long x 30 mm high). Both cars must be able to roll smoothly across the bridge deck in both directions simultaneously.
- The maximum length of the bridge must be less than 700 mm.
- The maximum width of your bridge must be less than 150 mm.
- Your bridge structure may project up to 200 mm above the top of the supports.
- Your bridge structure may project up to 50 mm below the top of the supports.
- Provision must be made to allow the loading platform with bolting
attachment (132 mm long x 50 mm wide x 12 mm high) to be positioned at the
centre of bridge span at the competition site.
At the centre of the bridge, a vertical clear space 15 mm in diameter free of sticks must be maintained for the bolt, nut and washer to apply a test load. Look at photographs in
Picture 2 of the bridge testing machine and Picture 3 for the loading platform
- The paper deck should be continuous. If needed, a hole for the loading platform bolt will be drilled at the competition site.
L is the overall length of the bridge – Minimum 550 mm and Maximum 700 mm. A is the portion that may be below the supports and should be less than 500 mm. (Exceeding 500 mm will make the bridge to rest on this portion below the main bridge structure and will not rest properly for testing. So keep this dimension less than 500 mm.
- The Popsicle sticks can be cut and/or shaped in any way and may be
- If the Popsicle sticks have to be cut, trimmed or drilled, then this should be done using tools that are designed to be safe for children to use and under the direct supervision of a teacher or another responsible adult.
- Cut pieces may be used as pins in joints.
- To qualify, your bridge must be
tested before you arrive at the competition.
- We require an adult to certify that your bridge has been tested and
can support at least a 4kg load.
(Note: past winning bridges supported over 25 times this load)
- Please test your bridge early so that you have time to fix any problems you find.
- A suggested method of load testing is described in section 6
- We require an adult to certify that your bridge has been tested and can support at least a 4kg load.
- Attach a paper tag to
your bridge, on which you have clearly written your bridge name and the
names of your team members.
- Finally, think, plan ahead and be patient… good bridges take time to
build. (and glue takes time to dry!)
Each bridge will be judged for the following five attributes:
- Construction technique
- Construction quality
- Technical presentation and description of your bridge design process
NOTE: Doubling popsicle sticks - that is sandwitching by applying glue over the length of stick and sticking another popsicle stick over the other is Not acceptable and will be disqualified.
Number of layers of Popsicle Stick glued together forming a solid block of lumber.
In the event of a tie, results of Post Destructive Analysis (See after Destructive testing) will be used for the particular cases to decide on the winners.
- The bridge inspectors will ensure that each entry complies with the
Only bridges that conform to all the specifications will be accepted.NOTE: Bridges not meeting the specifications will be disqualified.
- Bridges will be weighed before the destructive test.
- The load will be applied from below at the centre of the deck by the loading platform.
- Testing will consist of the application of an increasing load via the loading platform by the bridge testing machine, until the bridge breaks, or flexes by maximum of 50 mm (whichever is earlier). A visual warning will be indicated by a red lamp on reaching 50 mm deflection.The peak load recorded up to this point will be considered the breaking load.
- The winning entry will be the bridge with the highest performance
In the event of a tie, the lightest bridge wins.
It is up to your team to decide on the optimum balance between mass and strength.
Performance rating = (Breaking load) ÷ (Unloaded weight of your bridge)
i.e. the bridge that carries the largest load may lose to a lighter bridge. See last year's results!
- Be aware that all bridges will be destroyed during testing!!!
- All decisions of the judges are final
- The bridge inspectors will ensure that each entry complies with the rules.
Post Destructive Analysis
After destructive testing, expert Engineers will analyse the bridge with the
contestants, with a view of education and to check the analytical
capabilities of the contestants and marks given. These marks may be used for
decision in case of ties.
- Obtain the Parental Permission Form from our website and complete this form for each competitor.
- Every competitor must submit a signed Parental Permission Form during the check-in registration on the day of the competition.
- A parent or teacher must confirm that your bridge has been tested and can support at least a 4kg weight.
- A parent or teacher must certify that the bridges presented consist substantially of the work done by the students in the registered team.
- Competitors will not be allowed to participate without this form completed by a parent or legal guardian
- Duly filled and signed Parental Permission form and fee of $6 to be presented at the Registration Desk.
How to Test
- Make a pencil sized hole through the centre of your bridge.
- Make a loading platform to distribute the load on your bridge. (See figure 3 for an example)
- Tie a piece of rope to the centre of your loading platform.
- Thread the rope through the hole you made in the centre of your bridge.
- Tie a plastic grocery bag to the other end of the rope.
- Place two tables 500mm apart. These will be used to support your bridge.
- Place your bridge on the tables with the plastic bag hanging below the bridge.
- Place a 2kg bag of sugar into the plastic bag.
- If your bridge looks strong enough, add a second 2kg bag of sugar.
- Congratulate yourself for passing the qualification test.
We look forward to seeing you and your amazing bridges.
- Register your teams by
17 February24 Feb, 2012. The Registration Form can be obtained from our website
- Competition day is 03 March 2012
with registration beginning at 10:30 am
- The competition begins at 12:00 pm and is estimated to end at 5:00PM
- Food or drink are not allowed in the
- Please eat your lunch before or during registration time. Lunch will not be served.
- Please bring your own drinks as drinks will not be served. Water is available from water fountains.
- Parents, teachers and friends, are welcome and encouraged to watch and cheer!