We are pleased to announce that the BFA STEM Committee’s first-ever Family Fun Night – Spaghetti Challenge was a huge success, with almost 100 participants attending the event on Thursday, March 9. Students from nearly every grade attended with their families to learn about engineering principles and compete to see who could build the tallest tower and the strongest bridge. Competitors constructed their structures using spaghetti and other household materials, including marshmallows and hot glue. With the help from Science Matter In America, a local STEM resources organization, family teams were given a quick but informative presentation on the different structural properties of bridges and towers. They had the remainder of the time to design and build their structure. 

By the end of the event, roughly 20 structures were completed by the family teams, with all family members working together. Each completed structure went through a rigorous judging process, with tower heights being measured and bridges going through multiple rounds of weight-bearing competition. In fact, the bridge competition became so intense that competitors were holding their collective breath, waiting for the spaghetti bridges to snap! In the end, the tallest tower measured 37.5 inches with two runner-ups at 37 inches each.

Towers were also awarded for their engineering and creative designs. The strongest bridge was able to hold six 12-ounce water bottles, equivalent to roughly 5 pounds; and one bridge was awarded Best Engineering Principles for using components of triangulation in their design. STEM-themed prizes were awarded to all of our winners and for all the different categories. 

All-in-all, we had an incredible time getting to see all the young (and more mature) aspiring engineers get to work together towards a common goal while incorporating STEM concepts. It was truly inspiring to be able to witness all the ingenuity our young engineers possess. We are incredibly appreciative of all the students and families who attended and participated in our family fun night! We hope that everyone enjoyed the event. We are already looking forward to hosting the event again next year and are planning our theme for next year’s STEM challenge. Get ready!