Beth Florendo

As she begins her career as a civil engineer, Beth Florendo is thankful for her experiences at UH's College of Engineering. "It was hard at times, but I learned a lot and was able to work with kids," she said. Beth is moving from Kalihi to California as an "entering engineer" for Dames and Moore, a firm in Los Angeles.

While at UH, Beth excelled in her class work and participated in recruiting the next generation of engineers from area schools. She designed an exercise that encourages elementary school children to start thinking about, and solving, engineering problems.

After giving the class a few rules and hints they are asked to design a bridge that can support 10 pounds, using only popsicle sticks and Elmers(tm) glue. [see table below] She enjoys sharing her love of engineering with kids. "It can take you far," she said, "and there are so many different types of engineering that anyone can find something they love to do."

Beth gained much of her experience in working with kids growing up in a large family. In fact, she tested out the early versions of her bridge project with her nephew and younger brothers and sisters.

Beth designing a bridge

Her favorite part of engineering is designing and building bridges. "When I was young, we traveled to San Francisco, and when I saw the Golden Gate bridge, I knew that I wanted to build something like it," she said. Beth was encouraged by her father, a civil engineer in Honolulu. His help and her hard work have paid off, and Beth is on the road to becoming a successful engineer as well.

Bridge Building Bonanza

Objective: To build a wooden bridge that supports 10lbs.

Materials: wooden popsicle sticks (as many as needed), Elmers glue

Dimensions: Span (length) of 18" Min - 22" Max, Height of 2" Min - 3" Max, Width of 4.5" Min - 8" Max


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