Students' Paper Bridge Breaks Penn College Record

Published 04.09.2002

Student News

A paper bridge designed by two Pennsylvania College of Technology students carried a load 579 times its weight, setting a record recently in winning the strongest-bridge category in the 11th annual "Bridging the Gap" competition at the College.

In the competition, students designed and built bridges made entirely from construction paper and glue. Each bridge had to span an 18-inch gap and have a road-deck width of at least 2 inches. To test for strength, weights were hung at the center of each bridge.

In addition to being tested for strength, the bridges were judged in two other categories: artistic expression and accessories. Anything could be used as an accessory.

Setting the Penn College record for the strongest bridge was an entry from Kirstie Moir, South Williamsport; and Jerry L. Stotler, Maytown. It carried 579.27 times its weight (.48 pounds of construction paper and glue). Moir and Stotler are Architectural Technology majors.

Capturing second place with a "peacock" bridge that carried a load 482.34 times its weight were Nathan D. Sopic, Currwensville; Ryan L. Newswanger, Pine Grove; and Daniel B. Weyandt, Reading. Sopic and Newswanger are Architectural Technology majors. Weyandt is a Residential Construction Management and Technology student.

In third place was a structure designed by Michael S. Sebergandio, Lancaster; Michael J. Nau, Jersey Shore; and James N. Colton, Canton. The bridge carried 330.75 times its weight. Sebergandio, Nau and Colton are Welding and Fabrication Engineering Technology students.

The award for best artistic expression went to Edward A. Oakes, Hazleton; Wesley A. Stahl, Mifflinburg; and Matthew E. Strahan, New Columbia. Oakes, Stahl and Strahan are Architectural Technology majors.

The award for best accessories was won by Jared W. Rall, Jersey Shore; Lance D. Singer, Montoursville; and Kevin G. Melocheck Jr., Ashland. Rall, Singer and Melocheck are Civil Engineering Technology majors.