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Civil Canada Arm

Hosted by the Department of Civil Engineering

Maximum Number of Teams = 40 (8 per timeslot)
Number of Competitors per Team is 4


Each team will build the longest possible arm to hold a mass of approximately 100 grams.
  1. No outside assistance may be provided to the teams during construction or testing.
  2. The only materials to be used are drinking straws (approximately 100), a roll of "Scotch" tape(3/4" wide by 450" long), a 60cm piece of string, and one standard paper clip (to attach the mass) all provided by the judges at the start of each team competition. A pair of scissors will also be provided to each team. The straws may be used whole, or may be cut or split. The string may be used whole or may be cut. The string, which is used to attach the paper clip and the mass to the arm, shall not be used as a construction material for the arm. [* Straws are approximately 8"/20 cm regular plastic drinking straws.]
  3. Each team will also be provided with a mass to 'test' their arm during construction. Use of any other materials, tools or equipment is not permitted.
  4. The team will be supplied with a 2x4 approximately 45 cm in length. The base of the Arm will be secured on the top of a table with the supplied 2x4 (for example, by pinching the Arm between the 2x4 and the table). Competitors may not fasten anything to the table but the arm may be fastened (eg. taped) to the 2x4. The 2x4 may not extend beyond the edge of the table. The 2x4 will be held in place by hand during load testing.
  5. The Arm is to be built within a given time limit (20 minutes), and must hold the mass for at least 10 seconds while measurements are made. The mass must not touch the floor during the 10 second measurement time.
  6. The Arm structure will only touch the top of the table and 2x4; no other support is allowed.
  7. The length of the arm will be the horizontal distance measured from the edge of the table (closest to the mass) outwards to the closest point on the paper clip supporting the mass.
  8. Only one official attempt will be allowed.
  9. Failure to follow the above rules will result in disqualification.
  10. The decision of the judge is FINAL.


Score = the horizontal distance (cm), as defined above.

Competitions (2016):

Note: Click on an event names
for more info

- Biotech to the Rescue!
- Chemical Forensics
- Civil Canada Arm
- Egg High Drop
- Global Water Challenge
- L.E.A.P.'s Keep it Hot
- Mechanical Transporter
- Mental Gymnastics
- Mini-Car Jump
- Oodles of Noodles
- Photonic Puzzles
- Physics Paper Triathlon
- Pictorial Essay
- Software Challenge
- Teachers Challenge
- The Speeding Brain
- Twists and Turns