November 6, 2017

Students prepare to enter bridge building contest

SIKESTON—After weeks of work to build the most efficient model bridges, Southeast Missouri high school students are now gearing-up to put their bridges to the test. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will test bridges entered into its 14th Annual Bridge Building Competition Thursday, Nov. 16 at Rose Theater, located at Southeast Missouri State University’s Grauel Building in Cape Girardeau.

Doors will open at 8 a.m., with the competition beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at approximately 2 p.m.

The competition challenges high school juniors and seniors to design and construct the most efficient model bridge using limited materials—15 pieces of balsa wood, thread and glue.

"We are very pleased to have over 40 area schools participating in this year’s competition," said Senior Highway Designer Anita Clark. "In addition to giving students a great opportunity to learn about engineering, participating schools can also win prizes."

Prizes donated by area organizations will be awarded to the top-five bridge building winners, as well as for the most aesthetic bridge and the electronic bridge building contest. Similar to previous years, cash prizes donated by the SE Chapter Transportation Employee Association of Missouri will be given to the top three schools with the best overall performance.

Prize donations and supply sponsorships have been made possible by the following organizations: SE Chapter Transportation Employee Association of Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University, Three Rivers Community College, Cape Area Engineers Club, Southeast Physics & Engineering Club, Southeast Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers and the Southeast Coalition for Roadway Safety.

Prizes donated will be awarded to the top bridge building winners. In addition, MoDOT has partnered with Arkansas State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri-Columbia and Southern Illinois University to offer seniors interested in civil engineering up to $10,000 in scholarships.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Southeast Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety will be on hand during the competition to discuss the importance of buckling-up with the Seat Belt Convincer, which simulates how it feels to be in a traffic crash.

For more information, please contact Clark at (573) 472-5294, Senior Highway Designer Gretchen Hanks at (573) 472-5294 or MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636). Additional information is available at