Students construct bridges for 32nd annual Toothpick Bridge Challenge at the Mall at UTC.
Bradenton's Amanda Hakes anxiously waited as her toothpick arch bridge was put on a crusher to see how much weight it could hold.
"I hope it can hold lots of weight," said Hakes, who is 7.
She watched intensely as her bridge took on pound after pound. Then, it broke.
Elementary through high school students put their handmade bridges to the test Feb. 27 during the 32nd annual Toothpick Bridge Challenge at the Mall at University Town Center.
The contest had 210 bridges entered with some holding more than 40 pounds, others cracked under the pressure of less than six pounds.
Om Patel, a sophomore at Sarasota High School, couldn't believe it when his bridge held more than 40 pounds before cracking.
"It was a long, difficult process, and it was kind of painful, but I'm glad it got to 40 pounds," Patel said.