North Carolina DOT holds regional student bridge building contest

2015 NCDOT bridge competition

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently held the four regional competitions for its 16th annual Model Bridge Building competition for middle and high school students. The finals will be April 17 in Raleigh.

The competition aims to provide students with a “hands-on opportunity to apply their science, technology, engineering and math skills to a real world scenario.”

Student teams must design and build a model bridge, which is then tested by NCDOT engineers. Those same engineers, as well as representatives of engineering companies then judge the bridges.

The regional winners are:

Region One

Middle School – Beaufort Middle School of Beaufort

High School – CamTech High School of Camden

Region Two

Middle School – Neal STEM Academy of Engineering and Design of Durham

High School – Franklin Academy High School of Wake Forest

Region Three

Middle School – Westmoore Middle School in Seagrove

High School—North Moore High School in Robbins

Region Four

Middle School Winner — Polk County Middle School, Mill Spring

High School Winner — Polk County High School, Mill Spring


Last year’s winners were Franklin Academy High School in Wake Forest and Polk County Middle School in Mills Springs.

NCDOT said student teams accomplish the following via the competition:

  • Expand their vocabulary of geometry, bridges and construction.
  • Apply bridge vocabulary in the completion of a paper on the history and reasoning of bridge construction.
  • Practice design interpretation by building a bridge, to meet specific criteria, based upon our guidelines.
  • Inspect their bridge through logical reasoning to determine if their bridge model will meet the criteria pertinent to the project.
  • Test their bridge to determine if the bridge meets the criteria of the guidelines.
  • Develop marketing and presentation skills for selling their bridge design to the public.
  • Make an oral presentation to the competition judges.
  • Work collaboratively with their team.

More information on the contest is available here.