Levittown High School Student Wins Top Honors at Brookhaven Lab's Model Bridge Building Contest
Students from Ward Melville and Smithtown East place second and third
April 6, 2015
Joey Nepravishta, a junior at Division Avenue High School in Levittown, won the top spot in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2015 Model Bridge Building Contest.
UPTON, NY — Joey Nepravishta, an 11th grade student at Division Avenue High School in Levittown, won the top spot in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2015 Model Bridge Building Contest. Nepravishta took third place in 2014.
Over 190 high school students from 11 Nassau and Suffolk County high schools entered the competition, for which they designed, constructed, and tested model bridges intended to be simplified versions of real-world bridges. The challenge this year was to design the most efficient modern "double decker" bridge weighing less than 30 grams, with two loading planes, each with three load positions.
Nepravishta's bridge weighed 19.07 grams with an efficiency of 2297.45.
Michael Skolnick, a senior from Ward Melville High School, placed second with a bridge that weighed 12.93 grams with an efficiency of 2109.39.
Michael Skolnick, a senior from Ward Melville High School, won second place at Brookhaven Lab's 2015 Bridge Contest.
Third place went to Karina Hunstein, a 12th grade student from Smithtown East High School. Her bridge weighed 15.48 grams with an efficiency of 1477.39. Hunstein was also a repeat winner in the aesthetic category (she had garnered the aesthetic prize in 2014).
Karina Hunstein, a senior from Smithtown East High School, won third place and the aesthetic award at Brookhaven Lab's 2015 Bridge Contest.
The construction and testing of model bridges promotes the study and application of principles of physics and engineering and helps students develop "hands on" skills. Students get a flavor of what it is to be an engineer, designing structures to a set of specifications and then seeing them perform their function.
Brookhaven Lab's Office of Educational Programs coordinated the Regional Model Bridge Building Contest. The two top winners, Nepravishta and Skolnick, are eligible to enter the 2015 International Bridge Building Contest, to be held in Portland, Oregon in April.
At an awards ceremony held at the Lab on April 1, John Carter of the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven Site Office, encouraged the students to pursue careers in science and engineering. "We need future scientists, engineers, and leaders who can communicate how important those careers are to our nation, said Carter. "If these scientific competitions help students to embark on a career in science or engineering – mission accomplished."
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