Four U.P. student teams win in MDOT’s Michigan Design & Build Bridge Challenge
May 10, 2012 — Four teams from Upper Peninsula schools were among 12 winning teams statewide in the 4th Annual Michigan Design & Build Bridge Challenge held in Lansing on April 30.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) organizes the competition as part of Michigan ‘s Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) program. MDOT offers the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) TRAC program, designed to interest students in careers in civil engineering and transportation, to schools in Michigan . Federal funds, designated for student outreach, were used to fund the bridge competition.
The 80 participating teams designed and built one of three kinds of bridges for the competition: 7th and 8th graders built truss bridges; 9th and 10th graders built drawbridges; and 11th and 12th graders built cable-stayed bridges.
The winning teams from the U.P. are:
– Spencer Leivo, Steven Olson and Cody McGrath from Negaunee High School , led by adviser Kevin Bell, won 1st place in the 11th and 12th grade category.
– Nickolas Kill, Austin Rice and Cody Erickson from Negaunee High School , led by adviser Kevin Bell, won 2nd place in the 11th and 12th grade category.
– Wade Saari, Eric Benkarski and Derek Scott from Negaunee High School , led by adviser Kevin Bell, won 3rd place in the 11th and 12th grade category.
– Jordyn Van Portfliet, Samantha Connor and Brittany Levesque from Escanaba High School , led by adviser Tammy Connor, won 3rd place in the 9th and 10th grade category.
Teams were judged by MDOT engineers on their bridge’s specification measurements, the strength-to-weight ratio, and a PowerPoint presentation.
Two 11th and 12th grade teams from Negaunee, the “Negaunee Bridge Builders” (Spencer Leivo, Steven Olson and Cody McGrath) and the “Negaunee Civil Constructors” (Derek Hicks, Adam Wainio and Lydia Jarvi), also were selected to be among nine teams to compete in the national AASHTO bridge challenge. That competition will take place Friday, May 18, in Traverse City as part of AASHTO’s 2012 Spring Meeting.
For more information on the TRAC program and Michigan Bridge Challenge, visit MDOT’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/mdot-trac.