2023 Cougar Class #1: The First Cougar Class



Date: 10/04/2023
Where: Montgomery High School

Impact on Team: The first Cougar Class of the year was a great success! Mike taught us the importance of having standards incorporated in all aspects of life, personal and business alike. Whether it be ethical, management, or product expectations, standards set a precedent for any and all future endeavors. This Cougar Class helped to build bonds between group-mates across different subteams and was a great introduction to new members, as well as a good refresher for those who have previously gone. His presentation laid the foundation for the season’s first Cougar Class challenge—constructing a bridge.

Activity: Each team was challenged to build a bridge that could bear the heaviest load, while also being the lightest, with only 30 popsicle sticks, a hot glue gun, and open minds. Every group had around an hour to produce the final product, with the only requirement being that the bridge had to be a minimum of four inches tall. There were some additional twists that were thrown into the challenge; group members could answer trivia questions for extra popsicle sticks, and for a ten-minute period, nobody was allowed to talk to each other. Finally, it was time to present. The bridges were each ranked with a numerical score: the weight held by the bridge divided by the weight of the bridge itself. The highest scoring group would be crowned the winner of Cougar Class #1. Many different designs were used, but the one that proved to be the most successful was a truss bridge with triangular supports built in. The concept of strong vertical popsicle support as opposed to horizontal popsicle support was a huge deciding factor in the efficiency of each bridge, and ultimately led to this team’s win.