Aspiring engineers compete to build strongest bridge out of spaghetti
By Bob Barnard
It's the last day of summer camp for these D.C. area teenagers.
They took part in a four-week program for budding engineers.
They have constructed model bridges out of nothing but uncooked pasta and glue.
The students in this class here at the Johns Hopkins University campus in Gaithersburg are competing to see how much weight their bridges can hold before breaking.
"It's a lot of fun even though it doesn't sound that interesting because you're doing engineering over summer,” said Divya John, a student at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. “But it's cool because you're in an environment full of other people that are interested in the same thing."
The early winner was a team of three teenagers whose creation held 58 pounds before disintegrating. This program is designed to inspire these young minds.
"We try to stay away from just giving facts, but putting things in the context of bigger picture,” Muhammad Kehnemouyi, interim dean of Science, Engineering & Technology at Montgomery College, said to the group of students.
Careers in medicine and the law are fine, but to Sinuhe Gutierrez, a physics teacher at Northwest High School in Germantown, he said, “Everything has to do with engineering. Everything. The instruments that the doctors use is all related to electricity, magnetism, images. All of that has to do with physics and engineering. Engineering is nothing but physics applied to make our world better and more practical for us."
"Even though we weren't outside playing sports or whatever, we were always like hanging out together and joking around while we were building these things, so it was just as fun as any other summer camp in my opinion,” said John.
Building and breaking, all in good fun, with a nod to the future.