Model Bridge Building Contest to be Held at Brookhaven Lab, March 20

EVENT: Destructive testing of model bridges will provide a great photo opportunity as Suffolk County high school students compete in the 2010 BNL Model Bridge Contest. Media representatives are invited to attend. Students, parents, and teachers will be available for interviews. The event is closed to the general public because of space limitations. All visitors to the Laboratory age 16 and over must bring a photo ID.

WHEN: Saturday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Science Learning Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Lab is located on William Floyd Parkway (County Road 46), one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 of the Long Island Expressway.

DETAILS: More than 60 high school students from eight schools in Suffolk County have entered the 2010 Model Bridge Contest. (Below is a list of participating schools.) The students designed and constructed model bridges according to certain size and weight specifications, with the goal of building the lightest bridge that supports the most weight. Materials were restricted to basswood and glue.

Brookhaven engineers will test the bridges by determining how well they remain intact under the pressure of a machine called a stress tester. The bridges are required to be no longer than 300 millimeters, no taller than 180 millimeters, no wider than 70 millimeters, and weigh no more than 30 grams. Some are very intricate and attractive. The contrast between the delicate basswood bridges and the equipment used to test them provides excellent visuals.

The first- and second-prize winners will be eligible to enter the 2010 International Bridge Building Contest, which will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 1, 2010.

Participating Schools

  • Elwood-John H. Glenn High School, East Northport
  • Patchogue-Medford High School, Medford
  • Walt Whitman High School, Huntington Station
  • Center Moriches High School, Center Moriches
  • Ward Melville High School, East Setauket
  • Southampton High School, Southampton
  • Comsewogue High School, Port Jefferson Station
  • Westhampton Beach High School, Westhampton Beach
Tags: education

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