Press Release

Kids Build Cardboard Bridges in “Ton of Bricks” Invention Challenge

By SpaceRef Editor
December 7, 2009
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WHAT: This year, middle- and high-school teams have built cardboard bridges capable of carrying up to 235 pounds (107 kilograms) to compete in the 12th annual Invention Challenge hosted by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The bridges must meet certain requirements: they must be made of cardboard or paper products, use reasonable amounts of glue, span a 1.2 meter (48 inches) gap, and be no more than 45.7 centimeters (18 inches) wide. The bridges must carry standard-sized bricks (between one and 44) that weigh about 2.42 kilograms (5.35 pounds) each.

The top 20 student teams from throughout Southern California will watch to see if their bridges remain standing as bricks get piled on. The student teams were invited to the JPL Invention Challenge based on results from two regional contests held in November. Eleven teams of JPL engineers and scientists will also compete in this friendly but challenging contest.

Each year the rules change but the result is the same: students get a better appreciation that math, science and engineering can be fun.

First, second and third place trophies will be awarded in both the student and JPL categories. Certificates will be awarded for the lightest, heaviest, smallest, largest, most unusual, most artistic and most creative designs. More information is at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/inventionchallenge/2009/ .

The event will be carried live on the “NASAJPL” channel available on Ustream TV at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasajpl on Dec. 11 starting at 11:30 a.m. PST (2:30 p.m. EST and 1930 UTC).

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rain or shine.

WHERE: Mall area of JPL, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, Calif. JPL is located off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway.

CONTACT: RSVP to Carolina Martinez at 818-354-9382 or the JPL Media Relations Office at 818-354-5011 by Thursday, Dec. 10 at noon to arrange access to JPL. Valid media credentials required. Non-citizens must also bring passports.

2009 JPL Invention Challenge: Participating Schools

1. Arcadia High School, Arcadia (two teams)
2. Chaminade College Preparatory, West Hills
3. Crescenta Valley High School, La Crescenta (three teams)
4. Granite Hills High School, El Cajon (two teams)
5. Los Angeles Senior High School, Los Angeles (three teams)
6. Magnolia Science Academy, Carson
7. Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles
8. Monroe Magnet Middle School, Inglewood
9. Monrovia High School, Monrovia (two teams)
10. South Pasadena High School, South Pasadena
11. Temple City High School, Temple City (three teams)

SpaceRef staff editor.