SE Bridge Competition 2008

Ste. Genevieve High School Takes First Place in Bridge Competition

SIKESTON—After more than 225 bridges were tested, Tom Bach of Ste. Genevieve High School stood victorious in MoDOT’s fifth annual Bridge Building Competition for high school juniors and seniors. The competition sought to test the students’ engineering skills as they designed and constructed the most efficient model bridge, the lightest bridge to carry the greatest load—Bach’s bridge proved to do just that.

With $650 in prize money at stake, other Ste. Genevieve High School students’ bridges followed Bach’s lead. In addition to winning first place, Ste. Genevieve High School also had bridges that came in second, third and fourth place—Zachary Fallert, second place; Alex Herzog, third place; and Michael Rhodes, fourth place.

Other awards included the “most aesthetic” bridge, given to Will Johnson of Kennett High School; and the computer-based electronic bridge award, given to Brittany Burnett of Risco High School. Prize money was donated by the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, the Cape Area Engineers Club, and Southeast Missouri State’s Engineering and Physics Club. 

In addition to the individual prizes, prizes were also awarded for the schools that competed the best overall, with $1,000 in prize money donated by Sen. Jason Crowell. Ste. Genevieve High School’s teacher Clayton Cox accepted a trophy and $500 check for first place; Chaffee High School’s teacher Jaron McMurry accepted a $300 check for placing second; and Oak Ridge High School’s teacher Mark Gihring accepted a $200 check for coming in third.

“We’ve had so many teachers really get involved in the competition and use it as a way to teach elements of engineering to their students and really educate them about the design process that we wanted a way to reward the schools for their efforts in promoting civil engineering,” says Traffic Engineer Craig Compas.  “We’re appreciative that Sen. Crowell’s generosity made that possible.”

In addition to prize money, $10,000 in civil engineering scholarships was also available.  Southeast Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Rolla, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Arkansas State University, and Southern Illinois University each offered civil engineering scholarship.

“We really want to foster an interest in civil engineering with the competition,” says Senior Highway Designer Anita Clark.  “The event started as a way to get students in Southeast Missouri interested in engineering, help them with their education, and hopefully have them working in the field someday, possibly with MoDOT.  That opportunity wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of the businesses and organizations that help us make it happen each year and to them, we are extremely grateful.”

Sponsors include: Hobby Lobby, Wehrenberg Theatres, Coca-Cola, Rhodes 101 Stops, and Cici’s Pizza.

For more information, contact Compas, Clark or MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).