Engineering student makes popsicle stick bridge, hired immediately

AJ Lawrence, Senior Writer

As it turns out, those extremely stressful popsicle stick bridges engineering students are always complaining about having to make can actually be useful. For example, Evan Briggs ’24 just got offered a full time job at a huge architecture firm after a video of a bridge he made went viral. 

 

The video shows Evan Briggs and his two teammates, Maya Potslich ’24 and Wilbur Burns ’24, standing around a very intricately designed popsicle stick bridge. Their bridge differs from the competition seen in the background, as there appears to be many more sticks involved in the creation of this bridge than the others and it has yet to be crushed into tiny pieces. The video continues, showing Evan and Wilbur assisting Maya onto standing on top of their wood and glue structure to test its strength before letting her go, allowing her to stand freely on their bridge. Cheers and shouting resound in the background, a mixture of excitement and disappointment when it doesn’t immediately crumble — something that probably happened to most of the competitors. She waits a few seconds before shifting her weight side to side, doing a little wiggle dance, and finally stepping off and onto the floor, the bridge remaining unbroken. Quite an impressive bridge.

 

The internet thought much the same and many wondered just how the team did it, some others wondering if there was foul play at hand. In response to all the questions and allegations, the professor of the class holding the competition, Professor Rayne Runshner of the Engineering Department, posted a follow up video. In his response Professor Runshner explained the parameters of the bridges for the competition: every bridge had to be at least two feet long, be made of only popsicle sticks and wood glue, and each team was given fifty standard sized craft popsicle sticks. However, teams were allowed more popsicle sticks only if they collected them themselves by eating popsicles and collecting sticks. In the two weeks allotted for building, Maya and Wilbur ate one hundred popsicles each, granting their team two hundred extra popsicle sticks for their bridge. Therefore executing a perfectly legal strategy.

 

After the announcement of Evan’s job offer, which we have been informed he is seriously considering as it could help him pay off his student loans, we inquired the architecture firm for a statement on why they chose Evan specifically. Evan is certainly a talented future engineer, but he is only a junior in undergrad and his only real work experience has been one internship working with a small construction company. The firm explained, “Evan is extremely talented, having designed and built a bridge with amazing structural stability and an exquisite visual appearance. We’d be delighted to have him working for us. And in terms of a degree, many of our employees don’t even use half of what they learned in college for their jobs anyway.”

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