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A student is testing his bridge in a hydraulic press

High school bridge builders to battle it out Saturday at Purdue Fort Wayne

Who: Area high school students; 31 teams of two competitors and six individual competitors

What: The 32nd installment of a high school bridge building contest – a national program of DiscoverE that often coincides annually with Engineers Week – hosted locally by the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science at Purdue University Fort Wayne and supported by the Northeast Indiana DiscoverE Committee and the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers

When: Saturday (Feb. 26) between 9 a.m. and noon; awards to follow at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Where: Neff Hall, Room 101 (campus map

Why: The mission of the Northeast Indiana DiscoverE Committee is to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration, and volunteerism. It supports the region by connecting area engineering companies with engineers and students to encourage retention of local talent within the profession. This high school bridge building competition, which has been hosted locally by Purdue Fort Wayne since 2000, supports those objectives with a fun, hands-on activity that promotes the STEM field.

How: Participants are asked to design the lightest possible bridge to span a gap with minimal deflection. What they build will be loaded until failure. The bridge with the highest load-to-weight x deflection ratio will win the contest.

Awards, including $250 for first place, $200 for second place, and $100 for third place will be on the line. Additional prizes for a designated teacher or mentor and a record-setting bridge, if applicable, are also available.

In a separate category looking solely at the aesthetics and quality of the bridge, a first prize of $50, second prize of $30, and third prize of $20 will be presented by Engineering Resources, Inc., of Fort Wayne.

For more information, contact Janet North, ETCS outreach program assistant, at [email protected] or 260-481-5756.