Bridge challenges teens at Thomasville Library

Jul. 06, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

On an otherwise ordinary summer afternoon, eight architects and engineers met to design and build a bridge.

Thomasville Public Library Teen Coordinator Robin Buchanan planned the physics challenge as part of a program of fun and engaging summer activities for teens. The July 1 contest was one of a full schedule of teen activities planned throughout the summer.

“Design the bridge as architects and engineers,” she instructed the participants. “Whoever gets done first, as long as the bridge works, is technically the winner.”

Two teams of four people each put their heads together to draw, then build a three foot bridge using only barbecue skewers, craft sticks, toothpicks, marshmallows and yarn.

Bridges were required to span the distance between two tables placed three feet apart. and be able to support the weight of a toy car.

Team A talked about designs and drew diagrams before beginning to build their bridge.

“It’s getting really sticky in here,” said participant Jeffrey Fletcher. The rising eighth-grader at Brown Middle School is also a teen volunteer at the library.

Building bridges wasn’t the only thing that happened during the afternoon. Participants got the chance to socialize.

It was necessary to fully test the building materials, so some marshmallows got eaten.

Team B started building immediately, constructing separate components then joining them together.

“Ours was not your everyday bridge,” said Tanner Hall. “If there was a prize for creativity we would win it.”

Unfortunately, time was up before either bridge would support the weight and span the distance but staff member Eric Compean Garcia declared the event a success.

“The main goal was to teach the kids about engineering and how to use physics in everyday life,” he said. “Oh, and of course to have fun.”

More teen events are planned:

July 9 at 3 p.m. – Join the Teen Volunteer program to learn about botany as they tend to the library grounds.

July 10 at 12 noon – Meet Fox 8 News meterologist Van Denton. This Lunch n’ Learn is open for all ages.

July 15 at 3 p.m. – Learn about computer coding, used in everything from websites to software.

July 16 at 3 p.m. – In this creative class participants will make art using heat and crayons.l

July 22 at 3 p.m. – Library Murder Mystery, a fun and theatrical class, no one knows who really did it until the end.

July 23 at 3 p.m. – Make glow-in-the dark T-shirts and help turn the meeting room into a planetarium.

July 29 – Science Bowl Challenge is a quiz bowl-style debate, help your team  by answering questions and give your opinion on fun and important topics.

July 30 at 3 p.m. – Learn some cool dance moves from around the world and learn how music and movement can affect your mood.

Aug. 6 at 3 p.m. – Learn about food science and healthy snacks will be served.