A competitor at this year’s Spaghetti bridge contest. - Image: Contributed

A competitor at this year’s Spaghetti bridge contest. - Image: Contributed

Heavyweight competition on hold for Spaghetti Bridge

With $1,500 of prize money on line event organizers postpone Heavyweight category due to malfunction

More than 300 students from across the Okanagan paraded their pasta structures on stage Friday at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus for the 34th annual Spaghetti Bridge contest.

Students from elementary to post-secondary brought their engineering skills to a boil and constructed bridges of spaghetti, lasagna noodles and glue that were put to the test in one of four categories.

This year, the highly anticipated Heavyweight competition suffered a setback when the Fettuccine Fault Line (a hydraulic machine that places load on the bridges to test their capacity) malfunctioned, forcing organizers to postpone the event. With $1,500 of prize money on the line, the event organizers admit postponing the Heavyweight category was a difficult decision, but the right one.

“Rescheduling is disappointing, but the integrity of the competition must be held to the highest standard,” said head judge Dr. Andrew Hay, vice president education for the college. “It’s important for the students to know their hard work is taken seriously, so we must ensure their bridges are tested accurately using the proper equipment.”

The testing equipment is being analyzed and repaired, and all five competitors will be invited back to the college to battle for top honours in the Heavyweight category.

The other competitions do not use the same testing equipment and were carried out without a hitch.

In the ASTTBC Secondary Competition category, in which students pre-build bridges for on-site testing, two brothers from Charles Bloom in Lumby swept the top two spots, with third place going to students from KLO Middle.

In the ASTTBC Team Building Secondary Competition, students battled the clock to build bridges on site and under pressure. The winners of that contest were from King’s Christian School in Salmon Arm. Second place went to KLO Middle and Constable Neil Bruce Middle finished third.

Five teams participated in the ASTTBC Team Building Post-Secondary Competition and Okanagan College students Raelyn Guenther, Megan Roeske, Darren Joyce, and Brett Siebert were the lone victors, taking first place with the only bridge entry that passed the testing requirements.

“Today’s competition was packed with energy and enthusiasm,” says Hay. “I was impressed by the bridges I saw today and that is a testament to the efforts of these talented students.”

Prize money for the event is generously provided by the event’s sponsors: the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC), PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., Okanagan College Students’ Union, Multi Power Products, AECOM, OP Machine Ltd., Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEG), WSP Group, and Interior Testing Services Ltd.

Complete Results:

Heavyweight Competition

Competition postponed due to technical issues.

ASTTBC Team Building Competition, Post-Secondary

First – Raelyn Guenther, Megan Roeske, Darren Joyce, and Brett Siebert (Okanagan College)

ASTTBC Team Building Competition, Secondary

First – Daniel Stalker and Joshua Greencorn (King’s Christian)

Second – Oliver Cole, Jackson Rosco, Jacob Tizel, Arne Gairdner-Loe (KLO Middle)

Third- Alex Whitt, Jaden Seniuk, Ben Parker, Mitch Harris (Constable Neil Bruce Middle)

ASTTBC Secondary Competition

First – Justin Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary)

Second– James Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary)

Third – Jordan Wiseman (KLO Middle)

Fourth – James Birnie and Ken Flores (KLO Middle)

Fifth – Nicholas Mitchell (KLO Middle)