It all STEMS back to cardboard and glue in Averill Park

Updated: 06/12/2014 8:26 PM
Created: 06/12/2014 4:57 PM WNYT.com
By: Subrina Dhammi

AVERILL PARK - Engineering students at Averill Park High School are working on something so big, they had to take their project from the classroom to the gym floor.

“We pride ourselves on only using cardboard and Elmer's Glue,” explained teacher Matthew Duff – as he talked about a bridge being built out of cardboard and glue.

“This is one of the more exciting things we’ve done all year – just getting to do this every day in class,” said Hunter Dupont, a 10th grader.

The engineering students built a life sized bridge and then tested it to see how much weight it can hold. This project has been going on for years.

“We started at 18 feet, then we built one that was 24 and then 36 and this year, we're up to 48 feet long. So every year, the goal is to go longer,” said Duff.

“It was very difficult. We had to build all the members and fold them up, glue them all together and then figure out how to get it in here,” said Dupont.

First, they have some fun, letting people walk through the bridge, but then it's the moment of truth with full sized high schoolers testing it out. Locking their arms and walking to the center, they got to six people before it started to sag. Then two more stepped in and it buckled.

“At a quick glance, it looks like we had, for the first time, glue fail,” explained Duff.

Still, that's eight students at somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 and they're having fun while learning.

When it was all over, they took out their aggression out on the bridge by tearing it to shreds.

“We hoping to look at what we did this year and see if we can go the length of the basketball court,” said Duff, as he looked forward to next year.


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