Fire Science Truss Record

Fire Science Truss Record

Fire Science

Though an ant may be small, it can carry ten times it weight. Even more shocking – a contraption made of popsicle sticks can hold over 1,000 lbs.

Fire science students designed and made a tress out of pospsicle sticks. A truss is essential in every day life – it’s what keeps your house standing instead of becoming a collapsed pile of rubble.

Jerry Witte, fire science instructor, explains that a truss is “a series of triangles that hold up roofs, boats, and homes.”

“A truss is the support for a house’s roof,” senior Michael Carlon explained. “They are made out of wood and gusset plates to support the roof.”

The fire science class has been working to build parallel trusses out of popsicle sticks in order to learn the construction “for future home buying,” Witt said.

This year’s fire science truss broke records by remaining standing with 1385 lbs added on top of it and that was because the students “didn’t have any more weights,” Witt said. The original record was holding at 1310 lbs.

The winning group included Carlon and fellow seniors Anthony Smith, Skyler Willson and Chad Smith.
Carlon described the feeling of beating the record as intense. “Seeing all that weight and just waiting for the inevitable collapse, but it never came and our truss lasted,” he explained.

The trusses could only be build with popsicle sticks and glu. They were ordered to be one stick high and two thick.

“We got in our groups and sketched it on paper. After finalizing a design we started to construct it,” Carlon said.

“Although our instructor gave their insight, the design and construction of the truss was completely up to each group,” Carlon said.

The significance of a truss is often overlooked, but the students have learned its worth. Besides learning the structures and importance, Carlon said he learned how it affects fire fighters on the job. “An improperly built truss could give way under the stress of a fire,” he explained.

After celebrating their success, the class is now preparing for the Master, a competition between Fire Science classes from other schools.

Jasmine Ray
March 5, 2012
Fire Science