Perryville Area Career and Technology Center students from the auto collision and industrial technology programs are building model bridges for a MoDOT competition.
The Missouri Department of Transportation’s Southeast District is hosting its 17th Annual Bridge Building Competition.
“While this year’s competition will look a bit different than past competitions, the goal remains the same. As always, our hope in holding the competition is that students will gain an appreciation of STEM careers—specifically engineering,” said MoDOT Senior Highway Designer Anita Clark.
Clark explained the bridge competition challenges high school juniors and seniors in MoDOT’s Southeast District to design and construct the most efficient model bridge using limited materials.
Bridge kits were delivered to participating high schools on Sept. 22. The kits contain balsa wood, string and glue that can be used in the construction of each model bridge.
“Students are now hard at work to design and construct their bridges,” said MoDOT Senior Highway Designer Gretchen Hanks. “Typically, hundreds of students join us as the competition concludes with a bridge breaking ceremony to put their bridges to the test.”
Out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus, MoDOT is making alternate plans for this year’s ceremony.
Hanks said the bridges will be put to the test during a virtual ceremony planned for Thursday, Dec. 10. Additional details will be released prior to the virtual ceremony.
Prizes donated by area businesses and organizations 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.
For more information, please contact Clark at (573) 472-5294 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Hanks at (573) 472-5294 or email@example.com, or MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636). Photos and videos from prior competitions are available at https://www.modot.org/bridge-competition.