Students from Crescenta Valley High School swept the awards, winning first, second and third place in the annual competition
Students from Crescenta Valley High School swept the awards, winning first, second and third place in the annual competition.
Image credit: NASA JPL

Crescenta Valley High School, located several miles from JPL, picked up top honors at the annual Invention Challenge, held today at JPL. 

The event drew more than 200 students and teachers representing 11 schools from throughout Southern California.  This year's challenge was to build the most efficient cardboard or paper bridge capable of carrying several pounds of bricks. 

A total of 20 student teams competed side-by-side with nine JPL teams of engineers. Crescenta Valley High teams captured first, second and third place honors.  The winning JPL team was Richard Goldstein, while second place went to David Van Buren and third place to Brant Cook.

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

The requirements were that the bridges be made of cardboard or paper products, use reasonable amounts of glue, span a 1.2-meter (48-inch) gap, and have a width of no more than 45.7 centimeters (18 inches).  The bridges carried standard-sized bricks (between one and 44) that weighed about 2.42 kilograms (5.35 pounds) each.


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