High School’s Linguini Bridge Contest goes for broke Monday


The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s 16th Annual Linguini Bridge Contest in the Performing Arts Center on Monday, April 1, promises to be a shattering experience.

Students will top their pasta bridges with weights and put them to the test, starting at 7:45 am. The competition continues with a snap, crackle and pop until 10:45 am or until the last bridge is standing. Or not. The public is welcome to attend.

Mathematics and technology teacher Ken DeBettencourt created the contest and has organized and run it every year. The rules are simple: bridges must be constructed using only Prince-brand linguini held together with regular Elmer’s glue, weigh less than one pound, and be able to support a minimum of 25 pounds.

The competition is open to individual students or teams of two. Contestants are allowed to get help from parents or other knowledgeable sources.

As a new twist this year, Mr. DeBettencourt said that all freshmen students are required to participate, which will at least double the usual amount of entries.

“We will still welcome any past contestants or other students who want to participate,” he added.

Bridges are due tomorrow. Mr. DeBettencourt will weigh and measure them over the weekend to make sure they qualify for Monday’s contest.

During the competition, weights are added until a bridge fails. At last year’s contest, freshman Gordon Moore’s winning bridge withstood 1,500 pounds of weight, the maximum allowed onstage for safety reasons, and survived intact.