Heavyweight winners Anna Offenwanger and Ephraim Nowak of UBCO with their winning bridge

UBCO students claim top prize at Spaghetti Bridge competition

Kelowna news; Anna Offenwanger and Ephraim Nowak claim top spot at 33rd annual contest

For the 33rd year in a row, students gathered at Okanagan College to take on the Fettucini Fault Line in the Spaghetti Bridge Challenge Friday.

Open to students as young as in elementary school, participants construct a bridge made out of spaghetti noodles and hot glue.  Starting in grade seven competitors have the option to build a bridge at home, or assemble one on-site as part of a team.  Bridges constructed by students in grades seven through 12 were tested to hold one kilogram for five minutes, with any surviving bridges then weighed.  Post-secondary participants saw their required weight increase to two kg for five minutes, and in both categories the lightest bridges that made the mark were victorious.

The headlining event of the Spaghetti Bridge Competition, the heavyweight category, took place in the afternoon.  The competition in the heavyweight category was run differently from the standard competition, as each bridge had to weigh under 1,000 grams while holding over 10 kg.  Hosted at Okanagan College for all 33 years of the competition, Kelowna was the site of the world recording the heavyweight category in 2009 when a team from Hungary built a bridge that held 443.58 kg before breaking.

With about 160 students entered, this year’s event was similar to previous iterations.  Organizer Michelle Lowry noted the competition went very well, in what is always an exciting day that helps with recruitment to the college.

“For sure we see it as a recruitment event,” Lowry described.  “We like to start with elementary kids and keep them coming back year after year.  It’s a fun recruitment event.”

The team of Anna Offenwanger and Ephrain Nowak from University of British Columbia Okanagan placed first in the heavyweight category with a weight of 184.3 kg, while James Dessert from Charles Bloom Secondary placed second at a supported weight of 128.3 kg.  Okanagan College swept the Post-Secondary Team Building category as the team of Zack Ricketts, Jordan Klippenstein, Geoff Pill and Connor Buick placed first, Zak Furiak, Jstin Lange, Jesse Padda and Bob Briggs came second, and Daniel Otto, Jennifer Zarr, Cam Sabados and Jessica MacDonald finished third.

In the Team Building Secondary category, Esther Drysdale and Shale Nierman from Charles Bloom Secondary came first.  Madison Dewitt and Paul Unger of King’s Christian School finished second, while Marissa Brandsma and Jessica Roodzant, also of King’s Christian School placed third.

Charles Bloom Secondary swept the Individual Secondary category, with James Dessert coming first, Hanya Riddick second and Justin Dessert third.


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