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St. Vincent College pasta engineering contest planned

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 8:51 p.m.

Area high school students will find out who has built the strongest miniature bridge out of uncooked pasta on Monday at the Pasta Engineering Contest in the Fred M. Rogers Center at St. Vincent College in Unity.

The competition is designed to increase awareness about the role engineering plays in our lives and the career opportunities in the field, and to provide students with an opportunity to collaborate on design and construction.

During the competition, weights are added to the pasta bridges until they collapse. The bridge that sustains the largest amount of weight before collapsing is the winner.

Forty teams from nine Westmoreland County high schools are expected to participate in this year's contest, including Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield Area, Jeannette, Greater Latrobe, Norwin, Penn Trafford and Yough.

Participants were given two pounds of spaghetti noodles, 10 lasagna noodles and a hot glue gun, which they use to build model bridges designed in their classrooms during a two-month period.

Students will have to carefully transport their constructions to the college one hour before the competition begins at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Judges for the competition will be Matt Burns of Gibson-Thomas Engineering of Latrobe, Laura Volle of Michael Baker Corp. of Moon and Stephen Jodis and Paul Follansbee, both of St. Vincent College.

The engineering competition is sponsored by Carbone's Restaurant of Crabtree and the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing at St. Vincent.

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