Hold the meatballs! High school students build spaghetti bridges at CSUF – Orange County Register

As America looks to rebuild its infrastructure, the next generation of engineers is practicing constructing bridges – out of spaghetti.

It’s not due to budget cuts for raw materials, but part of a nationwide competition that gives high school students the chance to explore engineering concepts and earn college credit.

At Cal State Fullerton on July 21, 45 students divided into 12 teams and designed and built bridges using dry spaghetti and epoxy, then tested them to see how much weight they could hold before breaking. The students – from Orange County and area schools plus some from Canada, China and Turkey – were enrolled in Engineering Innovation, offered through a partnership between the university and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The competition caps the four-week program.

More than 460 students competed in spaghetti bridge contests at 12 sites around the country. Cal State Fullerton holds the program’s record, with last year’s winning entry supporting 169 pounds.

This year, the winning bridge supported 77 pounds.

The program, which CSUF has offered since 2006, allows high school students to link the concepts they’ve learned…

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