An Okanagan College student took home the grand prize for his clever use of pasta in the 36th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest.
Held at Okanagan College Friday, the event provided an arena for laughter, excitement, a few tense moments and ultimately cheers as one of the college’s own cruised to victory.
Picking up more than just a few pennies, James Dessert took home the grand prize of $1,500 for his spaghetti creation. His bridge withstood an impressive 137.94 kg (approximately 304 pounds) of load on the college’s Fettuccine Fault Line scale before it exploded in front of a packed theatre, according to Okanagan College in a news release.
“I’m happy with my bridge this year but of course I would have liked it to hold even more weight,” says Dessert. “I’m ready for next year and will be making some improvements to hold even more weight.”
Dessert is currently enrolled in his first year of Mechanical Engineering Technology diploma at the college and credits the Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest for helping to shape his educational goals.
“I’ve always had fun building these bridges year after year and it definitely got me interested in engineering,” he says.
Dessert got his start in the Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest six years ago and is no stranger to the stage. He netted his initial first-place finish in 2014, three second-place finishes in 2018, 2017 and 2016 and a third-place finish in 2015.
Adding to the fun of the competition for Dessert, this year marks the third year in a row he has vied with his brother, Justin, for the best bridge. Third time was the charm for James who has received his just desserts over Justin – who has taken first place over James for the past two years.
“It feels great to win and I’m definitely going to be bragging about this for sure,” says Dessert.
More than 250 students attended this year’s event, which was made possible thanks to a variety of industry and community supporters including a new title sponsor, Faction Projects Inc.
First – James Dessert (Okanagan College, Kelowna, B.C.)
Bridge weighed 799.61 grams
Bridge held 137.94 kg
Second – Justin Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary, Lumby, B.C.)
Bridge weighed 916.14 grams
Bridge held 128.55 kg
Third – Stefan Trajkov, Luiz Fernandez and Shafat Ismail (Red River College, Winnipeg, M.B)
Bridge weighed 999.36 grams
Bridge held 114.99 kg
Fourth – Joshua Greencorn and Riley Jackson (Anchor Academy, homeschool)
Bridge weighed 564.85 grams
Bridge held 12.01 kg
First – Tyson Kamstra, Joel deHoog and Eli Jansen (King’s Christian School)
Second – Sienna Collins, Maddy Darlington, Caroline Bernath and Taylor Blenkin (Okanagan Mission Secondary)
Third – Juliette Schilling, Maya Ufimzeff and Arashjot Hehar (George Elliot Secondary)
Fourth – Tori Hansen and Alivia Grey-Goodman (Springvalley Middle School)
Team Building Secondary
First – Sarah Congdon, Rudi Fink and Tyler Blumethal (King’s Christian School)
Second – Haley Partridge, Clayton Reay (King’s Christian School)
Third – Tyson Kamstra, Joel deHoog, Eli Jansen (King’s Christian School)
Team Building Post-Secondary
First – Clayton Uhlig and Keyvan Khadem (Okanagan College)
Second – Nita Joubert, Adam Thomson, Stefan Queen and Brendan Horsfield (Okanagan College)