masthead

 


Major sponsor


All-time winner: 2012-13 
Matteo Circo(273.55 kg, 603 lbs, 121311)


Current Record: 273.55 kg
Now more than 1000 photos


balsa (Ochroma lagopus, or O. pyramidale)
Contest Cam (open during contest) 
 Bridges of Vancouver, BC
Bridge of the Month Contest

 

Contest Sponsors (2014)
Sponsor recognition publication

Bridge construction basics (pdf)


New photo each visit

Next contest: March 10 2015

Contest Rules Current Record Holder(s) Tips Page Timeline Test Items Contest Overview Performance Graph Sponsors Videos

2010 Contest: All Bridges  Bridge Testing  Bridge closeups Sponsors

Bridge Photographs: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 [1998 1997 1996]
Bridge Records:  2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 

Current Results  Local Hobby Stores  Student Info Sheet  Judges' Instructions  Testers' Instructions  Scoring Guide
Records  Contest Fact Sheet  Student Comments: 1995

   At the 33rd annual contest, held March 12 2013, the Circo family continued its recent domination of top spot. Matteo Circo, winner of the 32nd contest, not only set a new all-time record, he surpassed the previous high mark, set by his brother (see below) by a very wide margin. Leaving nothing to chance, Matteo built his tied arch structure to support an amazing 273.55 kg. For those not inclined to SI units, that corresponds to 603 lbs. When the Circo brothers appeared on the scene the contest record had stood unchallenged for a decade at 209.4 kg. Now they hold three of the top four all-time top spots for this long-running event. (pictures from the 2013 event above)    
     
  New (2011) Contest Record: 220.0 kg  
     
  At the 31st annual contest, held March 15 2011, a ten year-old record was broken as Physics 12 student Gino Circo, the winner of the 2010 contest, blew past the previous mark to set a new record of 219.95 (rounded to 220.0) kg. The previous record had been deemed out of reach by students for the past decade. Gino's bridge, based on his successful structure design from his entry in his Physics 11 year, was copied by others but none of those structures were up to the standards of construction set by this graceful entry. At the right is pictured the new Port Mann Superbridge (a cable-stayed structure) with the original steel arch bridge in front).    
         

Additional links

General Engineering Links (under construction)

Wood/Timber Materials Links (under construction)

 

matt00.jpg (16563 bytes)
Previous record-holding 100-gram bridge built in 2000 by Physics 12 student Matt Sullivan. This photo was taken after the bridge was put back together from the remnants. A portion of the roadway is missing. In an attempt to reduce overall mass several holes were drilled in the upper portion of the structure.
Typical preparation before testing. Bridge is carefully placed on testing beams and testing apparatus is gently lowered into place. Cable in foreground was used to transmit live webcam feed during testing.

bridgebreak.gif (16340 bytes)
Bridge Breaking Graphic
created by
Antonio Papalia
March 2003

trophy00.jpg (39142 bytes)

Matt Sullivan with his award-winning bridge at the trophy presentation ceremony. The trophy, held here by sponsoring teacher Peter Vogel, has been presented annually since 1981. APEGBC, the professional body that governs engineering in this province, has been a contest sponsor since 1999. In 2001 we welcomed Dofasco Steel as a sponsor. For 2002 we welcomed CSCE, the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the UBC Engineering Physics program, GlobalIntercom.com and SFU's School of Engineering Science as sponsors. More recently we have added Buckland and Taylor, one of Canada's most famous bridge design firms, SRC Engineering, Hatch Mptt MacDonald, Stantec, FortisBC, The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC. Visit our sponsors' page for further information.


The author with 1997 contest winners Clarissa Gamboa and Vanessa Wong (117.5 kg supported)

Contact me by e-mail

PRIME MINISTER'S AWARDS
FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE
1995-96


Premier's Award for Excellence in Teaching
2007-08

Canadian Association of Physicists Award 2011
TRIUMF report
Tumblr of CERN/LHC Award trip 2011

APEGBC President's Award 2011
Video produced for APEGBC award
This contest has been held annually since 1980. Hundreds of bridges have been tested. The students who take part in the contest are enrolled in either Physics 11 or Physics 12 at Notre Dame Regional Secondary School in Vancouver, BC, Canada.  All physics students at Notre Dame take part in the contest. While there is an evaluation component to the contest, the primary aim is for students to experiment with materials, in this case balsa wood and glue, and learn about structure and strength. Instructors wishing more information on the contest, in particular on the way it is run, may wish to contact me directly. A package of materials is available for instructors at a nominal fee to cover photocopying and shipping costs. A contest such as this is relatively straightforward and inexpensive to offer. There is no need for any "sophisticated" testing equipment. 
copyright 1994-2014
Peter L. Vogel
Last updated: August 05, 2014