Mississippi Teams Place in National TRAC Bridge Building Challenge
Jackson, Miss.— Three teams from Mississippi were chosen to compete in the National Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Bridge Building Challenge at the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Spring Meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. The TRAC program introduces students to a wide variety of career opportunities in the field of engineering and teaches students how to apply math and science concepts to help identify and resolve engineering barriers in the transportation system.
Representing Mississippi in the 7th-8th grade division were the Elite Bridges team from Guntown Middle School and The Master Bridge Builders team from Long Beach Middle School. The Tupelo High School Team 1 from Tupelo High School represented Mississippi in the 9th-10th grade division.
The teams from Mississippi competed against teams from across the country where they tested a scale model bridge for strength-to-weight ratio. During the competition, teams presented a PowerPoint presentation to a panel of judges detailing the processes they used in the construction of their bridge. The teams then tested their bridges for strength-to-weight ratio.
The Master Bridge Builders team from Long Beach Middle School won second place in the 7th-8thgrade division, while the Elite Bridges team from Guntown Middle School placed third. The Tupelo High School Team 1 team placed third in the 9th-10th grade division.
Initially, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) provided each team with a TRAC Challenge Entry Kit, materials and guidelines to construct a bridge. Each participating team then submitted a portfolio with their bridge design, a PowerPoint presentation and the strength-to-weight ratio of the bridge.
“This competition is another way to showcase how Mississippi’s students are learning about transportation, while studying science, technology, engineering and math,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “We are extremely proud of the three teams that represented Mississippi so well at the 2016 National Bridge Building Challenge.”
For more information about MDOT’s TRAC Program, or other STEM programs, visit www.GoMDOT.com/stemeducation.