We celebrated National Engineers Week this year by organizing the bridge contest for the 12th time. Near record number of teams and participants registered. 159 students in 59 teams representing 4 middle and 5 high schools registered for the competition although only 89 students were actually present. These numbers compare with last year's record registration of 66 teams of 169 students from 8 schools. The total number of attendees including contestants, teachers, parents, family members and judges were about 120.
In an attempt to improve the design of the bridges and thereby increasing the structural efficiency, this year we bought copies of a commercially available balsa wood bridge building software and provided it free to the participating schools. Though there is no evidence that any school actually used it to help there students, there is a upward trend seen in the all important structural efficiency that is used to judge the winning teams.
In the end students have to be instructed how to design and construct the model bridge by their teachers at school and cannot solely be dependent on their parents at home. We will offer the workshops for model bridge design and construction technique for the teachers again this coming year if there is any interest.
This year in the high school category Cardinal Fields Home School group and in the middle school category Miller County won the champion's trophy and plaque by winning the two out of the first three places.
Table below shows the total number of participants which included teams from the middle schools since 2008 and the results at a glance.
Best Bridge in the high school category since inception of the competition
Best wishes to all the winning team members and their teachers/mentors. We hope you will do even better next year. Also, thanks are due to the continued support and hard work of all the teachers, parents, judges and student volunteers without whose active participation the event could not have taken place.
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 2014 after the advisory committee meeting.
more information contact: Atin Sinha, Ph.D., P.E.