The Moss Point STEM Team recently competed in the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) National Bridge Engineering Competition in Portland, Maine. Team members applied math and science concepts to real life problems engineer’s face in the transportation industry as they conducted action research, designed a 3D model bridge with CAD software, tested the 3D model bridge with a simulation program, and constructed a model bridge out of balsa wood. The competition consisted of three categories: Design Portfolio, PowerPoint Presentation, and Bridge Design Efficiency.
Initially, AASHTO provided middle and high school students across the nation with a TRAC Challenge Entry Kit, bridge building materials, and competition guidelines to construct a bridge. Each participating team was required to submit a Design Portfolio including their final bridge design. Based on their Design Portfolio, qualifying teams were then selected to compete at nationals.
During nationals, teams conducted PowerPoint presentations and tested their bridge for strength to weight ratio. Cash prizes were given to the top three teams. In their very first attempt at the national competition, the Moss Point STEM Team won second place in the 11th/12th grade division and fourth place in the 9th/10th grade division.
“We would like to thank Steven Nelson, Wess McMillan, and Danny Juarez from Chevron for their support during this competition for the last three years and to Singing River Electric for providing the funds to purchase our Pitsco Structure Testing Instrument” said Mr. Carroll. Billy J. Carroll is the founder and coach of the Moss Point STEM Team. Dr. Durand Payton is the director of the Moss Point Career and Technical Education Center.