Imagine the "Pastabilities" AJHS Engineering Students Build Spaghetti Bridges

By: Apache Junction Unified School District
APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - Feb. 24, 2020 - PRLog -- The students in Steven Bussell's Intro to Engineering class at Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive, Apache Junction are building bridges of their own design using uncooked spaghetti as the construction material.

The idea is not a half-baked notion. The students learn the concepts and practices involved in today's engineering which includes compression/tension and movement and rotation about a point. The construction project helps students put those concepts into practice by constructing bridges.

Students begin with a blue print, and then the spaghetti is bundled together and cut and glued into the desired shape. The goal is to construct a bridge that can hold a specified load over a specified span. The students performed a stress test on Tuesday, Feb. 18 and added weight to the point of catastrophic failure.

The winning team was Mallory Mellor and Caris Lonkert, both sophomores. The girls were able to add 31.5 lbs in weight to the base of the bridge before it developed a crack. Bussell believes the bridge would have tolerated more weight, but the team of Mellor and Lonkert decided to pull out before their bridge collapsed. The team that came in second place endured 26 pounds of weight before structural failure.

"Truss bridges are a great example of the concepts we learn about in class," said Bussell who has a background in mechanical engineering (with a manufacturing design) nuclear engineering and physics. "Next month I am hoping to have the Dean and one of the Professors of Engineering from Central Arizona College here at AJHS to speak with the engineering students and maybe give them some insight into what it takes to become an engineer as well as future opportunities in the field."

AJHS emphasizes a well-rounded education where academics, sports and extracurricular activities allow students to grow scholastically, physically and emotionally. AJHS graduates have access to more scholarships per student than in most communities in the  Valley and qualifying students have access to Promise for the Future (  to earn a tuition-free education at Central Arizona College.

Registration for all new students who wish to enroll in Apache Junction Unified School District schools is currently being accepted online for all school locations. For more information about AJUSD or its schools or departments visit

Sally Marks
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