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East Union takes a first in state Bridge Building Challenge

East Union TRAC winners (L-R): Matt Dunn, MDOT District 1 Maintenance Engineer and co-chair, AASHTO TRAC™ and RIDES Advisory Committee, Anna Mims, Will Duley, Noah Watts and Linda Clifton, MDOT and AASHTO TRAC™ coordinator

Students compete in state’s TRAC™ Bridge Building Challenge

East Union took a first place when Mississippi students recently competed in the statewide Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC™) Bridge Building Challenge.  The competition took place at the Clyde Muse Center on the Rankin Campus of Hinds Community College in Pearl.

Over 200 Mississippi middle and high school students participated in this year’s competition.

TRAC™ is an education outreach program of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and introduces students to a variety of career opportunities in the field of engineering. The program teaches students how to apply math and science concepts to help identify and resolve engineering barriers in the transportation industry.

MDOT utilizes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education as a learning tool in the program and provides each team with a TRAC™ Challenge Entry Kit, and materials and guidelines to construct a bridge. Each participating team submits a portfolio with their bridge design, a PowerPoint presentation and the strength-to-weight ratio of their bridge.

TRAC Bridge Building Challenge

“This TRAC™ competition gives students the opportunity to learn about bridge building through hands-on experience,” said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT executive director. “MDOT’s goal is to inspire young students to explore the world of engineering while they have fun learning about the functionality of bridges in a transportation system.”

During the competition, teams present PowerPoint presentations and test bridge models for mechanics and strength-to-weight ratio. The top three teams in each grade category are honored.

The 2019 State TRAC™ Bridge Challenge winners were announced in a program at the end of this annual event. East Union’s team took home first place in the 11th & 12th grade category. They will compete in the national American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) competition in Park City, Utah on May 21. East Union teams have participated in the national competition for four of the past five years.

7th and 8th Grade:

First place – PB&J Bridge, Northwest Rankin Middle School, Brandon
Second place – Three Trusketeers, Northwest Rankin Middle School
Third place – H.C.L. Engineering, Guntown Middle School, Guntown

9th and 10th Grade:

First place – ASTRA, Moss Point Career and Technical Center, Moss Point
Second place – MAL Function, St. Martin High School, Ocean Springs
Third place – United Structurally Sound Republic, St. Martin High School

11th and 12th Grade:

First Place – Omega, East Union High School, Blue Springs
Second place – A.A.R.T., Moss Point Career and Technical Center
Third Place – Coastal Bridges, Inc., Moss Point Career and Technical Center

The TRAC™ Bridge Challenge displays how Mississippi’s students are learning about transportation while excelling in STEM education.

More about East Union teams: http://www.nanewsweb.com/mississippi-trac-bridge-building-challenge/

 

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