The fourth annual Southwest Georgia Regional Model Bridge Building Competition was held in the HPER Building of Albany State University on the morning of February 25, 2006. This year we set multiple records, both the number of participating teams and quality of the entries far exceeded the figures of earlier years. All together 46 teams participated representing 5 high schools compared to 25 teams of last year.
This year we had a long span category with 33" span replacing the previous year's compact category. Model bridge height for this category was still restricted to 3" but weight limit was raised to 50 gm. A new test fixture was also made for this long span category that was used along with the other fixtures to reduce the test set up time for each entry.
Dougherty Comprehensive High School won the first and second places in both the categories thus qualifying for the winner's plaque. Third place in the short span category was won by Monroe Comprehensive High School while Brooks County High School won the third place in the long span category.
The winning team's entry in the short span category recorded a structural efficiency (ratio of the breaking load and the weight of the bridge) of 542.2 breaking the previous record of 447.2. The maximum breaking load also improved to 13.3 kg from previous record of 10.3 kg.
This year we had the largest gathering. Well over hundred people were watching and rooting for their teams. The level of competition was really very intense. In the short span category, the third and fourth place teams were separated by less than 1 in structural efficiency while in the long span category the difference between the first and second as well as third and fourth was about 3.
Pizza and soft drinks were available for everyone after the competition ended. Participants, teachers, judges and student volunteers also got a commemorative T-shirt.
Georgia Space Grant Consortium sponsored the competition.
We hope next year we would have even better attendance than this year. The exact date of the next year's competition and any changes in the rules will be posted here around the beginning of fall semester, 2006.
more information contact: Atin Sinha, Ph.D., P.E.