OC student takes top prize at 36th Annual Spaghetti Bridge Contest
The 36th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest at Okanagan College provided an arena for laughter, excitement, a few tense moments and ultimately cheers as one of the College’s own cruised to victory.
Picking up more than just a few pennes, Dessert took home the grand prize of $1,500 for his spaghetti creation. His bridge withstood an impressive 137.94 kg (approximately 304 pounds) of load on the College’s Fettuccine Fault Line scale before it exploded in front of a packed theatre.
“I’m happy with my bridge this year but of course I would have liked it to hold even more weight,” says Dessert. “I’m ready for next year and will be making some improvements to hold even more weight.”
Dessert is currently enrolled in his first year of Mechanical Engineering Technology diploma at the College and credits the Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest for helping to shape his educational goals.
“I’ve always had fun building these bridges year after year and it definitely got me interested in engineering,” he says.
Dessert got his start in the Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest six years ago and is no stranger to the stage. He netted his initial first place finish in 2014, three second place finishes in 2018, 2017 and 2016 and a third place finish in 2015.
Adding to the fun of the competition for Dessert, this year marks the third year in a row he has vied with his brother, Justin, for the best bridge. Third time was the charm for James who has received his just desserts over Justin – who has taken first place over James for the past two years.
“It feels great to win and I’m definitely going to be bragging about this for sure,” says Dessert.
More than 250 students attended this year’s event, which was made possible thanks to a variety of industry and community supporters including a new title sponsor, Faction Projects Inc.
Neil Bolton, Manager of Projects at Faction Projects Inc. attended the competition and was floored by the results.
“This is our first time at the Spaghetti Bridge Contest and it was awesome to watch,” says Bolton. “It’s crazy to see the amount of weight you can support with spaghetti.”
Faction is a local multi-service company that offers architecture, construction and development management services.
“We do a lot of work with Okanagan College and this event was a great fit, especially with our line of work,” explains Bolton. “We’re are happy to be part of this competition and are definitely looking forward to next year.”
Second – Justin Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary, Lumby, B.C.)
Third – Stefan Trajkov, Luiz Fernandez and Shafat Ismail (Red River College, Winnipeg, M.B)
Fourth – Joshua Greencorn and Riley Jackson (Anchor Academy, homeschool)
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