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October 27, 2017 6:42 pm

Building Bridges to an Engineering Career

Thursday, March 2, 2017 @ 5:48 AM


5 year old Isaac Peltz applies the pressure – photo Mike Mason

Prince George, B.C.-  The call is out for  would be engineers to  start building!

The 20th annual  Ultimate Bridge Building Contest and Geo Rocks Event is scheduled  for  April 1st ( no fooling)  at the Pine Centre Mall  and will determine who can build the strongest bridge from popsicle sticks.

March is National Engineering and Geoscience month and the contest will  wrap up the celebrations.

Mike Mason is an Automation Specialist at Wolftek Industries in Prince George.  He says the event  is key to planting the seeds for  future opportunities  “This event is really important  because it helps  give kids an introduction into how fun engineering  can be.  For me, I’ve always known I wanted to be an engineer, but there are a lot of kids that don’t know  engineering is such a great profession.  So for those  kids,  we’re giving them a fun introduction to a great profession.”

Engineering is a very high demand  field  says Mason “Especially in the North  and the more we can train  engineers from the North,   it will be easier to fill those engineering positions in the North.”

There are five different categories with   prizes for the top three finishers in each   for the strongest bridge.  Mason says  there is also an esthetics  contest  “We see a lot of  creativity in the esthetics contest.  People bring out paint,  they decorate the bridges  it’s really neat to see that creativity.”    He says  whether  or not the bridges can stand the pressure testing,   the  best part is seeing  the kids have fun “If fun for one kid means the  bridge gets painted and it doesn’t   hold a lot of weight, then that’s a successful bridge in my mind.”

This is not a contest for someone who  wants to hang on to their  creation says Mason  “We smash the bridges so  if it’s  your pride and joy, in the end it’s going to get destroyed.”

He says  there is  one popsicle stick bridge  that is used for  promotion “Someone put a lot of  effort into it, and  when  push came to shove a couple of years ago,  that person wasn’t able to crush their bridge,  so we  use that bridge for our promotion bridge, but other than that, all the bridges get crushed.”

Contestants are  only  allowed a maximum of 100 popsicle  sticks  per bridge  which must be  at least 50mm wide  Full contest rules and registration forms are available   by clicking here

Need popsicle sticks?   Contact Mike Mason directly  (250-561-1556) and he will personally deliver them. “We  are very keen to get  groups like elementary school classes,  high school classes  hockey teams,  Boy Scout groups,  Girl Scout groups,  and  we’ve been very fortunate to get those kinds of groups in the past.”

The contest isn’t just for the  young folk,  as there is  a  category for professionals and one for ‘open adult’.


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