Picture of Perth and District Collegiate Institute student Nathan Duncan testing his bridge.

(Pictured above: Perth and District Collegiate Institute student Nathan Duncan tests his team's bridge on "Buster!" The bridge built by Duncan's team set a record at the competition, handling 146.7 kilograms of load.) 


Perth DCI Team Sets Record at
2017 Regional Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition

April 3, 2017 (Smiths Falls, ON) – A team from Perth and District Collegiate Institute (PDCI) prevailed in the 2017 Regional Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition Thursday at Chimo Elementary School.

“The squad of Spencer Cooke, Nathan Duncan, and Nathaniel Venuta-Mcnamara posted a record-setting load of 146.7 kilograms in the contest,” said Elaine Ireland, an Oxford-on-Rideau Public School teacher who helped organize the event. The Oxford-on-Rideau Public School team of A.J. Repple, Justin Schmitz, Cameron MacKay-Murphy, and Kayden Duncan won second with 78.2 kilograms, while the Athens District High School squad of Carter Hooey and Spencer McCann took third with 69.6 kilograms.

“The PDCI team’s first-place finish set a record for heaviest load in the five-year history of the regionals,” said Contest Coordinator John Ireland of the Thousand Islands Chapter of Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO). The organization runs the school and regional competitions each year to inspire student interest in engineering.

PDCI’s Nathan Duncan said his team was pleased by the win, attributing the victory to dedication and precision.

“It took a lot of hard work, and a lot of time to ensure it was perfect, hard and strong,” Duncan said of the team’s bridge. “It had a really good frame that spread the weight out across the whole bridge.”

The contest encourages students to build small bridges out of Popsicle sticks and glue - based on guidelines set by PEO. Bridges are then “stress-tested” using a special hand-cranked machine known as “BUSTER!”  to determine what load they can bear. The bridge that can bear the heaviest load wins. The contest teaches students about measurement, mathematics, physics, design, and teamwork in an engaging way.

A total of 27 student teams from nine Upper Canada District School Board Schools in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville participated in the event.

Posted April 3, 2017

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Contact Information
Teacher Elaine Ireland
Oxford-on-Rideau Public School
Phone: (613) 258-3141
Email: elaine.ireland@ucdsb.on.ca