Patchogue-Medford High School's Trevor Okula Wins Top Honors at Brookhaven Lab's Model Bridge Building Contest
Students from Sacred Heart Academy and John Glenn High School place second and third
April 5, 2016
Trevor Okula of Patchogue-Medford High School took first place in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2016 Bridge Contest.
UPTON, NY — Trevor Okula of Patchogue-Medford High School won the top spot in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2016 Model Bridge Building Contest.
More than 170 high school students from 12 Nassau and Suffolk County high schools submitted more than 85 bridges for the competition, for which they designed, constructed, and tested model bridges intended to be simplified versions of real-world bridges. This year's bridge-building requirements included criteria that represented how a real bridge would be constructed to allow large barges to safely pass under a bridge. In addition to building an efficient bridge with a maximum mass of 25 grams to span a gap of 300 millimeters (mm), the bridge also required a loading plane that allowed a 60mm high by 160mm wide testing fixture to pass clearly under the bridge when it was placed on a flat surface.
Katherine Hegermiller of Sacred Heart Academy placed second in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2016 Bridge Contest.
Okula's bridge weighed 21.40 grams with an efficiency of 1455.522.
Katherine Hegermiller of Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead placed second in the contest with a bridge that weighed 22.98 grams with an efficiency of 1261.097.
Third place went to Zakir Siddiqui from John Glenn High School in Elwood. Siddiqui's bridge weighed 17.59 grams with an efficiency of 1124.310.
Zakir Siddiqui of John Glenn High School placed third in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2016 Bridge Contest.
Zachary Stickelman of John Glenn High School in Elwood won the aesthetic award for the best looking bridge.
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 like 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, Okula and Hegermiller, are eligible to enter the 2016 International Bridge Building Contest, to be held in Chicago, Illinois in May.
Zachary Stickelman of John Glenn High School won the aesthetic award in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 2016 Bridge Contest.
At an awards ceremony held at the Lab on April 1, Brookhaven Lab engineer Don Lynch, who tests and crushes every bridge submitted to the contest, explained how each bridge was different, yet meet the difficult criteria. "The students did an amazing job at constructing their bridges. I congratulate them on their hard work and wish them good luck at the national contest in May. I believe these students are on their way to a successful career in engineering," said Lynch.
John Carter of the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven Site Office encouraged the students to pursue careers in science and engineering. "Our nation needs future scientists, engineers, and leaders. If these scientific competitions help students to embark on a career in science or engineering – mission accomplished," said Carter. "I hope you continue your exploration, wherever it may take you."
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2016-11828 | INT/EXT | Newsroom