News stories

Engineering Discovery: Langston Charter Middle School - Popsicle Stick Bridges and Da Vinci's Legacy

March 13, 2023

Langston Charter Middle School was buzzing with excitement as Tyler Roland, Next Engineers Greenville Program Assistant, came to share his knowledge about the incredible Leonardo da Vinci and his self-supporting bridge. The students were thrilled to learn about da Vinci's use of tension, compression, and other engineering concepts to create this remarkable feat. It was even more exciting to know that these were the same concepts they had conveniently learned in a previous lesson.

Da Vinci Bridge 1 Da Vinci Bridge 2

After the fascinating history lesson, the students were challenged to build their own bridges out of popsicle sticks, with no glue, rubber bands, or other supports. With the help of GE volunteers and their teachers, the students enthusiastically applied their newly acquired knowledge to construct innovative and creative designs.

The students' designs were judged based on their length, height, and their ability to support weight in the form of sugar packets. It was exhilarating to watch the bridges hold up under the pressure of the competition. The event provided an opportunity for the students to showcase their engineering skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.

Students at work Assisting with bridge construction
Discovery in action Tyler at Discovery Event

The Engineering Discovery Event was a huge success and an incredible experience for the students. It reminded them that engineering is not just a theoretical subject but a hands-on practice that requires innovation and creativity. It sparked their interest in engineering, and many expressed a desire to explore the field further.


We would like to express our gratitude to Langston Charter Middle School, their dedicated teachers, and the GE volunteers for making this event possible. Their efforts made a significant impact on the students and inspired them to dream big and achieve greater heights. It is through initiatives like these that we can create a future where engineering is accessible to all, and young minds can be inspired to become the next generation of engineers.

Students at Langston Charter