MoDOT tests model bridges, names winners

Friday, November 16, 2012
Seth Bollinger with the Missouri Department of Transportation cuts the water to a bucket that caused the failure of a model bridge built by Erika Taylor of Scott City during the ninth annual MoDOT bridge building competition Thursday at Cape West 14 Cine. Students from 39 high schools entered 253 bridge models, the most ever in the contest. (Fred Lynch)

After weeks of work to build the most efficient model bridges, Southeast Missouri high school students put their bridges to the test Thursday at the completion of Missouri Department of Transportation's Ninth Annual Bridge Building Competition. 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. Oak Ridge, Ste. Genevieve and Kennett High Schools received first, second and third place for best overall performance, respectively. These schools received cash prizes donated by the Chapter 10 Transportation Employees Association of Missouri, as well as a U.S. flag donated by U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson. In addition, five students were recognized for building the lightest bridges that carried the greatest loads.

Winners included: 1st: Ethan Seyer, Oak Ridge; 2nd: Lance Rohde, Oak Ridge; 3rd: Alexis Wunderlich, Oak Ridge; 4th: Bryan Otte, Ste. Genevieve; 5th: Brandon Allen, Greenville.

Other awards included the most aesthetic bridge, presented to Joey Pertell of Greenville; and the computer-based electronic bridge award presented to Tyson Roth of Ste. Genevieve.

Oak Ridge High School students pose with their model bridges at the ninth annual MoDOT Bridge Building Competition Thursday, Nov. 15 at Cape West 14 Cine. (MoDOT photo)

Prize donations and supply sponsorships were made possible by the following businesses and organizations: Chapter 10 Transportation Employees Association of Missouri, U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson, Cape West 14 Cine, Three Rivers Community College, Cape Area Engineers Club, Southeast Physics & Engineering Club, Southeast Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, Kirlin's Hallmark of Cape Girardeau, Rhodes Convenience Stores, CiCi's Pizza, Little Caesar's, Panera Bread Company, Coca Cola, and the Southeast Coalition for Roadway Safety.

MoDOT also partnered with Arkansas State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri-Columbia and Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, 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 were 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.

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