Who’s built the strongest?


As they have done for years, the Warwick-based regional office of the U.S. Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit that oversees the maintenance of Coast Guard properties in New England and as far south as New Jersey hosted a morning of bridge building for students participating in the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership program. Held Thursday, several students from Holden School worked in five team with either a member of the Coast Guard or a civilian employee of the unit to build truss bridges using Popsicle sticks and glue guns. When the program started, students and their mentors designed and built what they would be the strongest bridge. However, explained unit commander Maj. William Smith, this often left some teams only partially completing their bridge when it came time to test their strength with weights. On Thursday the teams worked from blueprints, which Smith pointed gave students the added benefit of seeing a specific plan and executing it. The Popsicle bridges have sported up to nearly 100 pounds and that was the case again this year.


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