This was the 9th year of Southwest Georgia Regional Model Bridge Building Competition. It is remarkable that we could continue holding this event so long in a primarily agricultural community not particularly known for higher education. This has been possible because of the interest of a select group of teachers in hands-on STEM education. Their motivation and enthusiasm made their students work hard mostly outside the scheduled class time to design and build their models and bring to the venue on a Saturday morning sometimes travelling for an hour. Thanks also are due to the judges and student volunteers to take care of many duties, large and small, to make this event a success.

 

40 teams from high and middle schools all across the southwestern part of the state registered for the event from 8 different schools although as many as 7 teams actually did not show up on the day of the competition. For the first time as many as 5 schools from Albany metro area registered in the competition. There was no new record established. Only two significant facts emerged. Westover High School managed to wrench away the first prize from longtime winner Early county though they retained the overall winner's trophy and plack. The second fact is that the best bridge in the middle school category's structural efficiency came up significantly better than the best bridge in the high school category (413 vs. 295). In the middle school category, Miller county had a clean sweep getting all the prizes.

As usual the event was reported by the local TV media (WALB 10 and FOX  31) in the same evening.

Tables below shows the total number of participants which included teams from the middle schools since 2008 and the results at a glance.

Year No. of Schools No. of Teams No. of Students
2003 7 16 42
2004 5 12 25
2005 4 21 43
2006 5 43 86
2007 3 15 34
2008 10 45 109
2009 9 43 105
2010 8 40 81
2011 8 40 91

 

Year Bridge Weight (g) Breaking Load (g) Structural Efficiency
2003 28.1 10276 366
2004 25.6 5789 226
2005 22.8 10198 447
2006 17.5 9489 542
2007 23.7 13253 559
2008 28.1 11114 396
2009 22.7 5930 261
2010 25.8 11542 447
2011 22.6 9332 413

Best wishes to all the winning team members and their teachers. We hope you will do even better next year. Those who did not win any prizes this year, there is all the more reason to come back next year with a better design.

As usual 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.

The exact date of the next year's competition  will be posted here sometime in early fall of 2011.

   For more information contact:    Atin Sinha, Ph.D., P.E.
                                                          Coordinator of Engineering
                                                          Phone: 229-430-4820
                                                         
E-mail: atin.sinha@asurams.edu