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Engineering Students to Compete in Bridge-breaking Tuesday

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571
Karen Horton, School of Engineering Technology, (207) 581-2340

ORONO — Freshman in UMaine’s College of Engineering will get a chance to put their skills to the test on Tuesday Dec. 13, when they compete in the School of Engineering Technology’s fifth annual File Folder Bridge Competition.

Scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.. in the basement of Boardman Hall, the contest pits student against student in a test to see whose two-foot-long bridge can support the most weight. Crafted entirely of glued-together paper tubes made of file folder stock, the bridges are the manifestation of a broad range of skills that their student creators acquired in Prof. Karen Horton’s Mechanical Engineering Technology class. As the weight on the bridges increases, so will the suspense as each bridge is tested to the point of failure.

Requiring hours of mathematical analysis, design, and fabrication to complete, each bridge represents an important hands-on learning sequence that culminates in a few moments of engineered endurance. The competition provides the students with an opportunity to see their thoughts and ideas put to the test in a three-dimensional setting, helping them to make the connection between theory and practice.

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