Michigan students tested their bridges today in a statewide event

Contact: Jeff Cranson, MDOT Director of Communications,
 cransonj@michigan.gov
517-648-8247
Agency: Transportation

Michigan students testing miniature bridges May 1, 2018 -- After months of building, testing, and repeating, nearly 200 teams comprising almost 600 Michigan middle and high school students had the opportunity on Tuesday, May 1, to present and test their bridges at an annual Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridge-building competition at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids.

Teams from grades 7 through 12 competed in the 10th annual Michigan Design and Build Bridge Challenge sponsored by MDOT. Students built miniature bridges using balsa wood, glue, and string, which were tested for strength and design. Teams also made detailed presentations about their bridges before a panel of judges.

Here are the 2018 Michigan Bridge Challenge winners:

7th/8th grade category
1st Place: Portage Central Middle School – Team CNM – Amy Franks, advisor
2nd Place: Portage Central Middle School – Team Squad – Amy Franks, advisor
3rd Place: Portage Central Middle School – Team Funky Monkey Bridges – Amy Franks, advisor
4th Place: Portage Central Middle School – Team Bridge Queens – Amy Franks, advisor

9th/10 grade category
1st Place: KAT Homeschool – Team Millennium A.R.K. Designers – Tiffany Holmes, advisor
2nd Place: Michigan Islamic Academy – Team ZZM – Khaled Nahlawi, Emad Tanbour, and Shatha Mohammed, advisors
3rd Place: Kenowa Hills High School – Team Pepe – Mike Johnson, advisor
4th Place: Michigan Lutheran High School – Team Marcel – Andrew Pappenfuss, advisor

11th/12th grade category
1st Place: LISD Tech Center – Team Tall Tower Bridges – Kim Benson, advisor
2nd Place: Negaunee High School – Team Bridge Builders of Negaunee – Kevin Bell, advisor
3rd Place: KAT Homeschool – Team Saturn V Design – Tiffany Holmes, advisor
4th Place: Negaunee High School – Team Negaunee Bridge Builders – Kevin Bell, advisor

Since 2004, MDOT has been offering the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Program to schools in Michigan. TRAC is a hands-on education program designed for integration into science, math and social science classes, with the ultimate goal of encouraging kids to pursue engineering and other science-related fields. The challenge is part of MDOT's TRAC program curriculum. More information is available at www.michigan.gov/mdot-trac

AASHTO has invited 18 teams, including nine from Michigan, to the TRAC Program National Bridge Challenge in mid-May in Franklin, Tenn. Teams invited to the national competition are:

11th and 12th Grades
Negaunee High School (Michigan) – Bridge Builders of Negaunee – Kevin Bell, advisor
LISD TECH Center (Michigan) – Land Linkers – Kim Benson, advisor
East Union Attendance Center (Mississippi) – DELTA – Holly Bailey, advisor
Sheldon High School (California) – Accelerated Motion – Trevor Weaver, advisor
Schoolcraft High School (Michigan) – The Internationals – Josh Willoughby, advisor
CMIT High School North (Maryland) – The Bold and Beautiful Bridges – Gregory Hynes, advisor

9th and 10th Grades
KAT Homeschoolers (Michigan) – ARK – Tiffany Holmes, advisor
Brandon High School (Michigan) – Triple B – Pauline Bandlow, advisor
Pembrook Pines (Florida) – Jags Team B – Miriam Hernandez-Davis, advisor
Long Beach High School (Mississippi) – Master Bridge Builders – Andrew Huey, advisor
Henrico High School (Virginia) – Setu Builders – Keshav Sharma, advisor
Eldorado High School (New Mexico) – The Three Engineers – Gary Bodman, advisor

7th and 8th Grade
Portage Middle School (Michigan) – Bridge-it – Amy Franks, advisor
Portage Middle School (Michigan) – CNM – Amy Franks, advisor
Portage Middle School (Michigan) – Funky Monkey Bridges – Amy Franks, advisor
Northville High School (Michigan) – Trussworthy – Diane Xu, advisor
Holman Middle School (Virginia) – The Bridge Bakers – Samuel Turner, advisor
Guntown Middle School (Mississippi) – DNC Engineering – Connie Gusmus, advisor

For more information about the AASHTO competition, visit https://tracrides.transportation.org./.