Faction joins pasta builders

Okanagan College's signature extra curricular event has a new sponsor.

Faction Projects Inc. has taken over as title sponsor for the college's 36th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest.

“This event looks like it’s about fun with pasta, but it’s so much more than that,” says Tim McLennan, director of design and operations at Faction Projects.

“It is a great way to introduce hundreds of students annually to the interplay between materials, physics and engineering. We need to invest in and support ways to interest the next generation of builders and doers in arts, science, technology, engineering and math – and if the mediums in use are pasta, glue and imagination, that works.”

It's also the original, and oldest of the nearly three dozen competitions now being held globally, from Buenos Aires to Budapest.

“As an architect, I’ve been amazed over the years at how well some of the bridges have performed, but even more important to me is seeing the number of elementary, middle and high school students who participate," said McLennan.

"My son should take notes!”

The annual competition is set for Friday, March 1 at the Okanagan College theatre.

The team building competition starts at 9:30 a.m. and elementary school demonstrations begin at 10 a.m. The lightweight competition commences at about 10:30 a.m.

The signature event, the heavyweight competition, is scheduled to start at about noon.

The 11 teams and individuals registered in the heavyweight competition will be out to break the decade-old record established in 2009 by Norbert Pozsonyi and Aliz Totivan of the Szechenyi Istvan University of Gyor Hungary.

Their bridge, weighing 982 grams, held 443.58 kilograms (975.88 pounds) before shattering.

The competition is open to university, college and elementary students in Grade 7 or higher.

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