Designed and run by the Society of Women in Physics
The information on this event is up to date.
Faculty coordinator: Rachel Goldman
Preparation team and Judges:
Kaitlin Moore, Jessie Muir, Anna Savage, and Society of Women in Physics
In this activity, students will design and construct a pasta bridge prior to the competition. Students will have to consider various design principles to build the most efficient bridge possible to satisfy the specifications listed below. The weight of the bridge is unrestricted, but lighter, stronger bridges will earn the most points. At the competition, students will have a chance to make repairs caused by the journey, take a quiz relating to static equilibria, and put the bridges to the test.
Event Location and Time:
1221 Randall [Intro Labs]
10:30AM - 11:50AM and 1:00PM - 2:50PM
Apparatus and Materials:
Teachers must sign the attached affidavit posted here, verifying that the following specifications have been met by their team. Any teams lacking an affidavit and not following the specifications below will be disqualified from the event.
Bridge Specifications for work prior to competition:
- • The bridge is to be constructed out of store-bought pasta and glue. Only white glue and hot glue are permitted. Examples of prohibited adhesives include (but are not limited to) super glue, Gorilla glue, rubber cement and epoxies.
The bridge is to be constructed out of store-bought pasta and glue. Only white glue and hot glue are permitted. Examples of prohibited adhesives include (but are not limited to) super glue, Gorilla glue, rubber cement and epoxies.
The bridge must span a 18" chasm between two support surfaces.
The bridge shall not exceed 26" in length, 6" in width, nor extend more than 2" below the surface of the support surfaces.
The bridge must be designed to support a 8"x1"x1" loading bar. This apparatus needs to be placed perpendicular to the bridge at the midpoint of the gap between the surfaces. It can be placed on top of the bridge or through the bridge at the student's discretion.
During the competition we will supply:
Hot glue and white glue for last-minute repairs.
Scratch paper and pencils for the quiz.
Loading bar/weights for loading the bridge.
Every team must have two to three members.
Upon arriving, the judges will collect signed affidavits from each team and measure bridge dimensions.
Students will have five minutes to complete any last-minute repairs to their bridge with the provided glue.
- While the bridges are drying, each team will collectively complete a 10 question quiz. Fifteen minutes will be allotted for the quiz.
- Prior to the bridge trial, each bridge will be weighed to determine its mass.
- During the test of each bridge, one student will add weight to the bucket until the bridge breaks.
The bucket and loading bar will be weighed to determine the total supported mass.
- The overall score will be determined as follows:
Quiz score x 0.25 + (Bridge score/ Best bridge score) x 0.75
- Quiz score = (Number of correct questions)/10
- Bridge score = (Total supported mass)/(Mass of the bridge)
- Best bridge score is the top bridge score of the day.
- Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals will be awarded to the teams with the highest three scores, respectively.
Olympiad Contact Information
University of Michigan, Physics Department, Randall Laboratory
Prof. Georg Raithel, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Michigan. All rights reserved.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PHYSICS OLYMPIAD is a Service Mark registered in the State of Michigan.
The University of Michigan Physics Olympiad has no connection, association, or implied
authorization by the USOC, the IOC, or
Revised: April 2015.