science olympiad articles

2007 Science Olympiad Boomilever

Now that the 2007 Science Olympiad season is well over, I am releasing photos of a concept boomilever I made before regionals. Here is a video of the testing of the boomilever: The boomilever broke because of all the force that was applied outwards on the bottom chords. The boomilever simply “split” apart and the loading block fell through. I didn’t anticipate the amount of force that would be pushing outwards. Normally my boomilevers broke at the joint to the […]


Balsa and Basswood Arch Bridge

This is an older bridge I came across when browsing through my old Science Olympiad photos. I used both Balsa and Basswood to build this bridge. This bridge was part of my design process which ended up with my SO winning bridge in 2004


Balsa Bridge

This balsa bridge was built by some students of mine for a Science Olympiad competition. It spanned 14 inches, weighed 8.1 grams, and held 29 pounds. That puts its efficiency at 1630.


Booth’s Bridge

Yes, this is one of the coolest bridges I have ever seen. Built by J.C. Booth Middle for the Science Olympiad Georgia State Finals in 2003, it placed 3rd. For those of you who don’t know Booth, keep reading. Booth Middle School has won the Georgia State Finals as a team for longer than I can remember, except for one year. They always have an excellent team, and provide much frustration and motivation for the rest of us. When I […]


Chamblee’s Bridge

Chamblee has always done well in Bridge Building. In 2001, they won the State finals in this event. This bridge is from the 2003 GA State Tournament, the same tournament the Booth Bridge is from.


Concept Alpha Bridge

I was never able to fully develop and use this bridge. I got this idea from talking with a Science Olympiad coach in Ohio. Now I wish I had gone ahead and put more work into this. The next year, the bridge rules changed so that I could not use this concept. The trick was to get the arches to the perfect length, so that they barely fit into the loading device. I had made these arches a bit too […]


Elevated Bridge

Science Olympiad is bringing back the Bridge Building event in 2009, except in a modified form. The event for ’09 is Elevated Bridge, which will provide an interesting and refreshing challenge. The draft rules that soinc.org are very interesting and make for a good read. Check them out as the new bridge event looks to be a refreshing change. Elevated Bridge Resources: Diary of a Bridge Builder SciOly Elevated Bridge Thread


Garrett’s Second Bridge

Boy does this bridge bring back memories. I built this bridge in 2001, in the 7th grade. It was my first attempt at building a bridge on my own after building this bridge with my partner. I had wanted to make an arch bridge, much like the Booth Bridge, but I didn’t have the building skills to do join the arches in the middle. So I simply made an A frame bridge. I never knew how much it weighed as […]


Howe Truss Bridge

This bridge was definitely not my best, but it does bring back memories. It was the second bridge built by my old Science Olympiad Bridge Building partner, David, and I. As you can see, we were still in the beginning of our bridge building career. I assume David is still building bridges, as his father is an engineer. I have not seen him for several years. This bridge took 5th place at our regional tournament way back in 2001. It […]


I Beam Bridge

This was one of my earlier bridges. I built it after talking with my uncle, who is a mechanical engineer. He suggested that I try using an I-beam. This was a very good idea, but my construction skills at the time were not the best. In theory an I-beam is excellent for bridges, but I could not make it very well. I don’t know how much this bridge weighed, but it did not hold very much weight. I had problems […]


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