High School’s Linguini Bridge Contest goes for broke Monday

Ben Davey and Mya Houston added more weight to "London Bridge, Take Two!" as teacher Ken DeBettencourt looked on in last year's contest. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s 17th Annual Linguini Bridge Contest, in the Performing Arts Center on Monday, March 31, 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 invited.

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.

Students compete individually or in teams of two. They are allowed to get help from parents or other knowledgeable sources.

During the competition, weights are added until a bridge fails. Last year, “London Bridge, Take Two!,” built by freshmen Ben Davey and Mya Houston, captured first, withstanding 990 pounds.