Civil engineers, along with technologists are responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. Civil Engineering is at the forefront of environmental, geotechnical, geophysics, structural, transportation engineering and many other sub-disciplines.
Our Next Spaghetti Competition is on May 1, 2014
Since 1993, the Civil Engineering department has been hosting spaghetti bridge building competitions. Individuals or teams construct bridges entirely out of spaghetti and hot melt glue and then the strength of the bridges are tested by loading them with weight.
Students build their bridges before or at the competition. The competition is be open to all, with separate competitions for the following four divisions:
- Middle School (Grades 6 – 9)
- High School (Grades 10 – 12)
- Engineering Technology Students
- Open Competition (all others)
- Maximum group size is four people. Only one entry per group.
- The entire bridge must be constructed solely of pasta (see number 3 below), hot melt glue and the official U-Bolt and Platform (see number 8 below).
- Any solid, round, commercial pasta (e.g. spaghetti, spaghetti or vermicelli) may be used as long as its initial diameter is not greater than 3 mm and not less than 1 mm. Noodles can be made of wheat or rice pasta.
- Only hot melt glue (any grade is acceptable) shall be used as a spaghetti bonding material. Other types of bonding materials such as epoxy are not permitted.
Bridges must span a gorge measured from vertical contact to vertical contact. The horizontal surface of the gorge on each side is used for support. The vertical edge of the gorge may not be used (no thrust support from side banks permitted). All bridges have to be able to support their own weight when spanning the gorge.
Technology students and Open competition: 1,000 millimetres
Grades 10-12: 750 millimetres
Grades 6-9: 500 millimetres
- The vertical depth of your bridge may not exceed 500 mm. This dimension does not include the official U-Bolt apparatus described in number 8 below.
- The bridge may not be heavier than the maximum weight listed below, including the Official U-Bolt and Platform. This maximum weight does not include any additional wires or cables installed by Camosun Staff to transmit the load to the Official U-bolt.
- Technology students and Open competition: 750 grams
- Grades 10-12: 600 grams
- Grades 6-9: 500 grams
The “Official U-Bolt and Platform” must be built into your bridge. The Official U-Bolt and Platform must not be modified in any way. They are used to attach the massive loads to your construction. You must allow for the load carrying attachment to be hung, directly or indirectly, from the U-Bolt. The official U-Bolt is centrally located on a 7 mm x 50 mm x 100 mm wood platform. The platform shall be located at the mid-span of your bridge at, or above , the horizontal surface of the gorge. The Winners in each category are determined as follows (all decisions are final):
Each bridge will be loaded by a person from the group that built the bridge. The weight may be applied in increments as decided by the builder group. A minimum 10 second waiting period is required between load applications. The final Official Load is the last load that the bridge withstood for a period of 10 seconds prior to destruction. Timing is provided by the Official Timekeeper. The winner is the legal bridge with the highest Official Load divided by the bridge weight.