RHS junior’s balsa bridge breaks a record | PostIndependent.com

RHS junior’s balsa bridge breaks a record

JOHN GARDNERGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

RIFLE, Colo. Rifle High School junior Michael Campbell built a bridge that held nearly 77 pounds before a small section of it snapped in half. That was a miscalculation on his part, but it was still good enough for him to take first place in Pool A of Region two at the annual high school bridge building contest held at the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver on Feb. 24.Now 77 pounds may not sound like much for a bridge to hold, but in his defense the bridge itself only weighed 24.98 grams. That equals about .055 pounds, and that’s not a whole lot.”I think it’s the design,” Campbell said. “That’s the reason why it held so much.”

He said that he came up with the idea of using an “arch” design in the first place and that he looked up past bridges to see what had worked for other students before.”I had a couple of people thinking I cheated,” Campbell said. “But my bridge was an original design. I just thought about how I could make another design better.”And better he did.His bridge measured in at just over a foot in length, a touch under five inches in height and about two inches in width. And holding about 34.92 kilograms, his bridge beat the school record at RHS that has held up for the past four years.

Campbell constructed the balsa wood bridge for physics class at RHS, he said he has always been interested in architecture and that is what he plans on going to college for. Through the competition Campbell received a $250 scholarship to any engineering school in the state.He’s still waiting to see if he gets to build another bridge for the national competition later in the school year.

Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext. 16604jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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