45 Students Compete in the 2016 West Virginia Bridge Design & Build Contest -Winners Announced-

5/21/16 / RTI

HUNTINGTON, WV – On Saturday, May 21, 2016, the West Virginia Bridge Design and Build Contest finals took place at the Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex at Marshall University.  The West Virginia Bridge Design and Build Contest includes both computer-based bridge design and construction of a balsa bridge for load testing.  The qualifying round of the contest was open to West Virginia middle school and high school students grades 6-12 and focused only on the bridge design aspect, where students submitted bridge designs with the objective of designing the lowest cost bridge that will hold a required minimum load. At the conclusion of the qualifying round on Friday, April 1, the top-ranked teams were invited to compete in the Statewide Finals on Saturday.  Eleven Middle School teams and eleven high school teams participated in Saturday’s event, with each team consisting of one or two students.

During the Statewide Finals, teams in the Middle School and High School divisions competed head-to-head in two rounds of bride design, with each round consisting of different design scenarios.  Gift cards ranging from $50 to $200 were awarded based on the combined costs of the bridges for the two rounds.  The top 3 bridge design teams in each division were:

  • Middle School 1st Place:  Justin Dargo and Hunter Hall (St. Francis de Sales)
  • Middle School 2nd Place:  Alina Mackowiak (St. Francis de Sales)
  • Middle School 3rd Place:  Nathan Calvert and Davon Hampton (Edison Middle School)
  • High School 1st Place:  Nikita Zinzuwadia and Alyssa Christiansen (Woodrow Wilson High School)
  • High School 2nd Place:  Anthony Chen (University High School)
  • High School 3rd Place:  Summer McElwain (Greenbrier East High School)

The finalists were mailed materials to construct a balsa bridge that met certain specifications and those bridges were load tested during Saturday’s event.  All teams that constructed a balsa bridge doubled the award amount they earned in the bridge design portion of the contest.  Most of the bridges were loaded until they failed, which allowed the strength-to-weight ratio to be calculated for each bridge.  The most aesthetic bridge was also selected for each division.  The winners of the balsa bridge building were:

  • Middle School Most Aesthetic Bridge:  Emily Turner (Summers Middle School)
  • Middle School Highest Strength-to-Weight Ratio:  Alina Mackowiak (St. Francis de Sales)
  • High School Most Aesthetic Bridge:  Carlton Wykle and Jeremy Giese (Greenbrier East High School)
  • High School Highest Strength-to-Weight Ratio:  James Dishner and John Mullis (PikeView High School)

Sponsors of this year’s statewide contest are the WV Department of Transportation - Department of Highways, Rahall Transportation Institute (RTI), Marshall University College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE), the Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability University Transportation Center (MATS UTC), and BridgeWalk.

All contest finalists are listed below.

High School Finalists:

  • Anthony Chen (ABC Bridge) from University High School
  • Nikita N. Zinzuwadia and Alyssa M. Christiansen (ARCH RIVALS) from Woodrow Wilson High School
  • Sophie K. Klein (Bridge Bums) from PikeView High School
  • Charlotte E. Lilly and Andrea M. Blankenship (Bridge Please) from PikeView High School
  • Norman H. Cole (Bridgezilla) from PikeView High School
  • James E. Dishner and John W. Mullis (Brigand) from PikeView High School
  • Summer K. McElwain (Imagineer) Greenbrier East High School
  • Ethan N. Misner (Metagame) from Huntington High School
  • Carlton R. Wykle and Jeremy G. Giese (SoundTech1) from Greenbrier East High School
  • Erin E. Leslie Sarah D. Leslie (Thing1&Thing2) from Greenbrier East High School
  • Jordan N. Blaker (Live Laugh Build) from PikeView High School

Middle School Finalists

  • Lauren A. Pack and Jordan  B. Rutherford (Angottis Angry Angels) from Summers Middle School
  • Samuel M. Peck and Dominic W. Rotellini (ARCH BRIDGES) from St. Francis de Sales
  • Nathan E. Calvert and Davon T. Hampton (Beast Bridge Bros) from Edison Middle School
  • Christian D. Funari and Robert R. Miller II (Bridge Street 2) from Bridge Street Middle School
  • Roxxi J. Morris and Kayley E. Nichols (double trouble) from Summers Middle School
  • Emily S. McElwain and Cat S. Ziegler (Nice Dynamite) from Eastern Greenbrier Middle School 
  • Alina H. Mackowiak (puppyduck) from St. Francis de Sales
  • Rachel R. Fama and Bella G. Saddler (R&B) from St. Francis de Sales
  • Emily E. Turner (SuperSpan: Bridge of Steel) from Summers Middle School
  • Justin L. Dargo and Hunter A. Hall (Turtle Squad) from St. Francis de Sales
  • Zachery W. Meadows and Evan L. Rose (WV Bridgeneers) from Edison Middle School
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