CNY Bridges: Build ‘Em & Bust ‘Em

The CNY Bridge Build’em and Bust’em Challenge is a free annual student STEM competition in balsawood bridge engineering. Individually or as a team, students design and construct a truss bridge built entirely of glue and balsawood. On competition day, teams submit their bridge for a test of its efficiency rating, a measure of how many times its own weight the bridge can support before structural failure (mass the bridge held divided by the mass of the bridge). Registration is free, and a free balsawood kit is provided to each team that registers before the deadline. Awards are given in three categories: Category I (grades 4-6), Category II (grades 7-8) and Category III (grades 9-12). 

The 2020 CNY Bridge Build’em and Bust’em Challenge on Saturday, November 14 will be a virtual event, live-streamed for all participants, families, and members of the public. Stay tuned for all the morning’s testing, raffles and giveaways, and special video segments from the MOST and its community partners!  

Teams can register here. Registration is free. The MOST provides balsa wood kits consisting of 15 2-foot-long 1/8-inch square pieces for teams to use in building their bridge. They can use any amount of the wood provided. Glue is provided; however, alternate glues can be substituted. Teams must use provided materials to build a bridge that meets competition specifications. Balsawood kits may be picked up by arrangement at the MOST front desk. Teams must be registered before they can pick up materials. Please contact to arrange your pick-up time.  

Teams should then design and build their bridges, which must be dropped off at the MOST no later than 5:00 PM on Thursday, November 12, 2020. Once the bridge has been submitted, each team will receive a link to the participant livestream and an estimated testing time. We may run behind, but will NOT test early so no teams miss their bridge being busted.  

Event Schedule 

Testing Livestream Begins: 9:00 AM (Beginning with Category I) 

Awards Ceremony will follow testing. We estimate the ceremony will begin around 11:00 AM -11:30 AM.

Instructions & Other Resources