With successful completion of this year's competition, our Bridge Building Contest completed ten years. It certainly is remarkable by any standard for an annual event to complete ten years at the same venue and following more or less same format specifically if it involves voluntary participation of teenagers many of whom were traveling for about an hour or more on a Saturday morning to take part in a science competition. This has been possible for the commitment and dedication of a few teachers who have continued to motivate their wards to get the job done on time. We hope many of our current generation of "bridge builders" will be building not only real bridges in real life after they graduate from  college, but will participate in many more ventures of science and engineering in future.

 

The most important news of this last contest was the fact that in the "Open " category commemorating the 10th anniversary of the contest, we had a entry that carried a mind blowing record 37452 g before breaking resulting in a structural efficiency of 433 which is unthought-of for this class of bridges (span= 33"). The next piece of news is that for the second year in a row, in the middle school category first place winner did get a significantly higher structural efficiency (434 vs. 329).

 

There were 47 teams from 9 different high and middle schools all across the southwestern part of the state registered in the event . We had a new champion in the high school category, Dooly County, who won both the 2nd and 3rd place. Early county missed the champion's plack for the second year in a row though they won the first place in the high school category. In the middle school category, Miller county retained the champion's trophy and plack by winning both the 1st and 3rd place. Merry Acers Middle School won the 2nd place.

As usual the event was reported by the local TV media ( FOX  31) in their 10 o'clock news.

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
2012 9 47 97

 

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
2012 27.5 11932 434

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 2012 after the advisory committee meeting.

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