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Patchogue-Medford Students Take Top Three Honors at Brookhaven Lab's Bridge Contest

Patchogue-Medford High School

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. Winning students from Patchogue-Medford High School are, from left, Brianna Shortell, first place; Michael Grazio, second place; Justin Schulz, third place, and Nikoli Rinaldi of Elwood-John Glenn High School, who was awarded a prize for the most aesthetically pleasing bridge.

UPTON, NY — Patchogue-Medford High School students won the top three spots in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2013 Model Bridge Building Contest. Over 160 high school students from 10 Suffolk County schools entered the competition, for which they designed and built model bridges with the goal of making the lightest bridge that held the most weight. The award for the most aesthetically pleasing bridge was given to Nikoli Rinaldi of Elwood-John Glenn High School.

Brianna Shortell took first place with a bridge that weighed 20.7 grams and held 89.18 pounds, 1954.17 times its own weight.

Michael Grazio placed second with a bridge that weighed 21.01 grams and held 89.83 pounds, 1939.37 times its weight. 

Third-place went to Justin Schulz, whose bridge weighed 14.59 grams and held 60.78 pounds, 1889.61 times its weight.

At a recent awards ceremony held at the Lab, John Carter of the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven Site Office told the students that the real goal of competitions such as these is to spark curiosity and encourage students to think and to learn. "By participating in this competition you found an opportunity and embraced it," said Carter. "We hope this experience catapults you toward a career in science, technology, engineering, or math.  Congratulations to all of you."

Ken White, manager of Brookhaven Lab's Office of Educational Programs, also addressed the students. "I look at you and I see a bright future. It is rewarding to see students recognized for their hard work and achievements," he said.

Brookhaven Lab's Office of Educational Programs coordinated the Model Bridge Building Contest. The first- and second-place winners are eligible to enter the 2013 National Bridge Building Contest, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois on April 27.

2013-11526  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office