DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

December 12, 2013

Pinkerton students excel at bridge building

Pinkerton students excel at DOT competition


Derry News

---- — DERRY — Pinkerton Academy sent six students to the annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition last month, sponsored by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

Students Andrew Husson and Tori Kort took first place for Best Original Design for their stick bridge design. The duo also came in third for a stick bridge they created that supported 252 pounds. The winning bridge supported 280 pounds.

Also competing in the stick design competition were Jacque Greazzo, Sara Neild, Olivia LaPorte and David Pierson.

Rolfe Voltaire, Pinkerton architecture and design teacher, said the state created the Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition to get young minds interested in bridges and structural engineering.

The average bridge engineer in New Hampshire is within 10 years of retirement, according to Voltaire. This is the third year that Pinkerton Academy has participated in this competition. More than 40 bridges from six high schools around the state were tested and broken.

Students must build their bridges using only Popsicle sticks and hot glue. Each bridge must be 38 inches long and wide enough for two Hot Wheels cars to cross the span side-by-side. For testing the strength of the bridges, two risers are placed 34.5 inches apart to support the bridge. Weight is then added to the center of the span until the bridge fails.