SIKESTON-More than 100 bridges were destroyed at Cape West 14 Cine in Cape Girardeau today, and it wasn't part of fall's latest blockbuster. The production was actually MoDOT's 3rd annual bridge building competition for high school juniors and seniors. Students from Southeast Missouri took a stab at designing and building their own model bridge, and at the end of the day, Jeff Rose from Dexter High School stood victorious.
Students were given 20 pieces of balsa wood, a spool of thread, a bottle of glue, and charged with designing the most efficient bridge-the lightest bridge to carry the greatest load.
"Our main purpose for this competition was to get students thinking about what factors go into designing a successful bridge," says Traffic Engineer Craig Compas. "We hope to spark some interest in civil engineering and partnering with the universities has certainly helped out with several future engineers' education during the last two competitions. We are very thankful to the five universities that have partnered with MoDOT to offer nearly $9,000 in civil engineering scholarships for their continued contributions."
Southeast Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Rolla, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Arkansas State University and Southern Illinois University all graciously work with MoDOT to offer students scholarships through the competition.
"This competition is a great opportunity for Southeast Missouri students," says Transportation Project Designer Jason Williams. "We have a very small budget and that opportunity wouldn't be possible without the generous donations of the businesses and organizations who help us make it happen."
The Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, the Cape County Engineers Club, the Engineering & Physics Club of Southeast Missouri State University as well as the Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Sikeston Chambers of Commerce are sponsoring prizes. Supplies for the competition were furnished or discounted thanks to Hobby Lobby, Rhodes 101 Stop Convenience Stores, Cape West 14 Cine, Little Caesar's and Coca Cola.
For more information regarding the competition, contact Williams, (573) 472-5293, or Compas, (573) 472-5310 or call MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).
1st Jeff Rose - Dexter High School
2nd Aaron Stewart - Scott City High School
3rd Eric Schrader - Ste. Genevieve High School
Most Aesthetic - Lindsey Gettinger, Ste. Genevieve
Most Creative - Adam Flannigan, Dexter High School
Electronic Competition - Adam Flannigan, Dexter High School