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RE: High School Bridge Project

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Hmmmm....  I have bittersweet memories of a similar high-school building
contest.  Mine was in Mississippi, and the project changed every year.  My
year it was a truncated pyramid with a 20" square base, 4" square top, and
anywhere from 10"-20" high.  It was only supported at the corners, and no
internal braces were allowed - all members were in the outside 4 wall planes
and the top.  It was to be built out of balsa wood, and had to hold a set
weight to "pass" (20 lbs. I think?).  The winner was the one that
successfully held the weight and weighed the least (most efficient).

Anyway, after much blood (I cut myself with a knife), sweat (air
conditioning went out one day), and tears (we'll get to that later), I made
it to the contest.  Mine was the lightest one there!!!!  Since I had already
tested it with the weights, I KNEW I had already won.

I'd had about 3 hours of sleep the night before because I'd gone night
fishing, so I allowed my "partner" to hold it while waiting to be tested.
An aside about my partner - he was assigned to me by the teacher, and we
reached an agreement very early on.  I'd share the grade with him if he
agreed to never ever touch my pyramid.  

Anyway, I'm snoozing in my chair while my partner is chatting up some cute
girls he'd located.  Suddenly I hear this *CRACK* *GASP* then silence.  I
didn't even have to look - I knew what had happened.  Only 3 or 4 pieces had
cracked, but that was enough.  Not even the quick-drying glue given to us by
the kind-hearted competitor was enough to salvage it.  *Sigh*.  So much for
my plans to be a professional high-tech pyramid builder.

Wow... this story got long.  Sorry about that.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe Grill [mailto:jgrillatswiaz.com]
> Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 11:29 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: High School Bridge Project
> 
> David,
> My first bridge design was for this same competition in Casper, WY. when I
> was 14 yrs old.  I won first prize in the junior high division. I was
> pretty
> excited about it then.  At this point, 35 years later, I'm not sure the
> excitement sent me down the right road or not. :-)
> 

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