Akron, Ohio– Alan Brubaker, P.E., P.S., Summit County Engineer, hosted the 17th Annual Miniature Bridge Building Competition on February 24, 2017 at the Summit County Fairgrounds. Thirty-six teams from 19 area high schools built miniature bridges of their own designs, made out of balsa wood and according to strict guidelines. Springfield High School Team 1 came in first place by constructing a bridge that held 115.6 pounds. Western Reserve Academy Team 1 claimed the second spot and Springfield High School Team 2 came in third place. Portage Lakes Career Center Team 2 won the Aesthetics Award and Manchester High School Team 1 was runner up.
The competition is designed to encourage high school students to implement scientific and mathematical principles they have learned in the classroom. Along with Engineer Alan Brubaker, eighteen engineering consulting firms co-sponsor the annual event and offer scholarship opportunities for competition participants who choose a career in civil engineering. AECOM/URS, Inc., Arcadis, Burgess & Niple, CT Consultants, DLZ , E.L. Robinson, Environmental Design Group, Euthenics, Jones-Stuckey Ltd./Pennoni Associates, ljb, inc, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Mott Mac Donald , ms consultants, Osborn Engineering, Prime A.E. Engineering, Richland Engineering, Stahl Sheaffer Engineering, and Thrasher Engineering were the participating consulting firms this year. Representatives from all eighteen firms were on board with displays, handouts, and words of encouragement to help bridge the gap from applied bridge design to a real life professional career in the field. Professional engineers from the Summit County Engineer’s Office were also busy circulating among the students to cheer them on while teams competed to build the winning bridge.
After about three hours of construction, the bridges were brought up on stage to be load tested until their ultimate demise. Bridge after bridge broke under the increased weight hanging from the center of the bridges. The winning team members from Springfield High School Team 1 are Matthew Jordan, Bri Miller, and Colin Leporis. They were rewarded with a trophy and cash prizes for their impressive efforts. Second place winners from Western Reserve Academy are Peter Campanelli, Matthew Groll, and Alexander Wayne. Aesthetics Award winners from Portage Lakes Career Center are Hunter Bonk, Dylan DeHarpart, and Daniel Birchfield.