Collaborating friends earn top-three spots in heavyweight Spaghetti Bridge contest

It came down to a battle between three friends from Lumby at Okanagan College’s 32nd annual Spaghetti Bridge Contest held at the Kelowna campus today.

Grade 7 student Adrian Schartner from Lumby placed first with his bridge weighing 982.6 grams and supporting 275.6 kilograms before spectacularly collapsing in front of cheering friends, peers, teachers and parents. His bridge was the only one to break the 200-kilogram pressure threshold. Brendan Mattenley placed second with 196.68 kilograms of pressure, and in third was defending champion James Dessert with 171.83 kilograms of pressure.

Taking almost eight weeks of patience, imagination and hard work, the three friends collaborated on the engineering design concept that featured an impressive arch made of bucatini pasta and spaghetti spokes. Each then made individual modifications to their bridge to encourage a little friendly competition.

“We knew we wanted curved bridges, those always do well in the competition,” says 12-year-old Schartner, who is home-schooled. “For my bridge, I created a heavier arch by using four strands of barilla. While it’s a lighter pasta, having more of it made it stronger.”

“This is my first year participating. I’m pretty excited because I came into the competition hoping to place third,” he adds, after being presented with a $1500 prize cheque, courtesy of the event’s sponsors: the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC), PCL Construction, Okanagan College Students’ Union, MMM Group, AECOM, OP Machine Ltd., Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEG), WSP Group, and Interior Testing Services Ltd.

“It was amazing to see such talent in our youth and future professionals,” says
Phil Ashman, the day’s emcee and Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College. “These students are determined. Many of them returning year after year, improving on their technique and structure.”

With otherwise simple ingredients, nothing more than pasta and glue, 248 participating students created recipes for success with their bridges. Students from Lumby and Salmon Arm in the north all the way to Osoyoos in the south participated in building bridges in both demonstration and competition categories. In the team-building category, 58 teams registered (48 in secondary and 10 in the post-secondary division). The Spaghetti Bridge world record of 443.58 kilograms was established in Kelowna in 2009 by a team from Hungary and continues to be undefeated.

Complete Results

First – Adrian Schartner, Grade 7, home-schooled, Lumby
Bridge weighed: 982.6 grams
Bridge held: 275.6 kg

Second – Brendan Mattenley, Grade 10 Charles Bloom Secondary, Lumby
Bridge weighed: 989.7 g
Bridge held: 196.7 kg

Third – James Dessert, Grade 9 Charles bloom Secondary, Lumby
Bridge weighed: 909.9 g
Bridge held: 171.8 kg

Team Building, Post-Secondary
First – Anna Offenwanger, Marissa White, Ephraim Nowak, UBC Okanagan
Second – Kyler Lucas, Rhett Munson, Curtis Hull, Taylor Milsom, Okanagan College 
Third – Julie Humphries, Robert Kemmler, Derek Penson, Siyuan Liu, Okanagan College

Team Building, Secondary
First –Alizon Littleton, Micah McKerlich, Katelyn Zylyk, Braeden Brown, Grade 7, Okanagan Mission Secondary, Kelowna
Second –Joy Savanagouder, Matthew Sharratt, Grade 9, Kings Christian School, Salmon Arm
Third– Jacob Legg, Dayton Wykes, Nathan Karlsson, Grade 9, Glenrosa Middle School, West Kelowna

Individual Secondary
First – Liam Davis, Grade 8, Charles Bloom Secondary, Lumby (with team members: Dean Corce, Eddie Harvey)
Second– Ryan Baril, Grade 8, Charles Bloom Secondary, Lumby 
Third – Esther Drysdale, Grade 8, Charles Bloom Secondary, Lumby