Pop goes the bridges

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Last year eggs cracked; this year it was bridges.

Sequim students competed for scholarships and cash prizes by building popsicle stick bridges and seeing which ones could bear the most weight.

Sequim Education Foundation’s Engineering Challenge sponsored the event with 87 competitors in elementary, middle and high school divisions.

Each individual and team put their bridge in a dynamometer that measured the strength factor or load the bridge could withstand divided by its own weight.

Walter Johnson, chairman of the event, said there were a variety of bridges, beam and trestles, that performed well in the competition.

Top bridges were:

High school
■ First place; Emily Madsen, Nicole Masangkay and Caitlin Pallai; $1,000 top bridge scholarship and $25 cash
■ Second place; Holly Hudson; $20
■ Third place; Michael Cullinan; $15
■ Fourth place; Dylan Foxlee; $10
Middle School
■ First place; Melissa Copeland; $750 scholarship; $25 cash
■ Second place; Peter Ohnstad; $500
scholarship; $20 cash
■ Third place; David Torgersen; $15 cash
■ Fourth place; Tararin Nikomborirak; $10 cash

■ First place; John Edson and Skyler Hallinan; $500 scholarship; $25 cash
■ Second place; Violett Odell and Flora Walchenbach; $250 scholarship; $20 cash
■ Third place; Ethan Mair; $100 scholarship; $15 cash
■ Fourth place; Darby Thompson; $10 cash

Teams that won scholarships split the awards evenly.

Judges were Harold Anderson and Carrie Graul of Quadra Engineering, Rick Beachman with Sequim Community Church, Dave Brasher with High Energy Metals and retired professional engineer Bill Henry.

Last year’s egg drop event attracted 146 students.

Bridge building had 198 registered students but more than 100 no-shows.

Johnson, a retired engineer, said the challenge will change each year and that he and the foundation welcome new ideas.
Suggestions can be sent to Johnson at walt, or through Sequim Education Foundation’s Web site at

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