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Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition

On March 3rd the American Society of Civil Engineers Los Angeles Younger Member Forum (ASCE LA YMF) hosted the 24th Annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition (PSBC) with help from Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch and Orange County Branch. The event was held at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and brought nearly 150 High School students and 70 volunteers. The Annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition, now in its 23rd annual year, is an event for high school students that is hosted by ASCE's Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Bernardino/Riverside Younger Member Forums. The event brings together hundreds of local high school students to participate in a full-day competition to celebrate the engineering profession and highlight their achievements.

The competition is a great opportunity to emphasize the benefits of pursuing higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) while promoting the engineering profession in our community. Prior to the event day, participating high school teams will prepare technical reports, display boards, presentations, and of course – build their Popsicle stick bridges! The rules and specifications for bridge design change each year so it is critical that the teams read through and follow all instructions. On the day of the event these students (and their bridges) will be put to the test! Volunteers from the civil engineering profession and local college campuses will serve as judges testing the bridges; scoring technical papers, display boards, and presentations; hosting an impromptu competition; and giving tours.

The event was a fun way for high school students to develop fundamental engineering skills through critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and creativity. Each school was given a challenge prompt to design and build a bridge that resembled a scaled version of a 100 ft long bridge that would cross a river in Nicaragua.

ASCE LA YMF invited Robin Kemper, 2018 ASCE President-Elect, to show support for students and witness future engineers at work. At the closing of the event the students had the opportunity to watch a screening of Dream Big Film to inspire the students to become great Engineers!

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