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November 15, 2005 12:00 AM
Ste. Genevieve High School Takes
First Place In Bridge Competition


            SIKESTON—MoDOT’s Second Annual TRAC Bridge Competition completed successfully with 44 bridges built by Southeast Missouri high school students.  Curt Gegg of Ste. Genevieve High School took home the prize for first place. 

The bridges were judged on efficiency—what they weighed divided by how great a load they could carry.  Students were given balsa wood, a spool of thread, and a bottle of glue to design and construct their bridge. 

“The designs were really varied and very impressive,” says Transportation Project Designer Jason Williams.  “The students did an excellent job and the results certainly show that.  Some of the bridges held close to 60 pounds.”

The competition was held on Thursday, Nov. 3, at MoDOT’s District Office in Sikeston.  Students from the District’s 14-county Southeast Missouri area attended to watch their bridges compete.  Cash prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd  place as well as most creative design and most aesthetic design.  A computer bridge modeling contest was also held the day of the competition to give students a chance to electronically design and test a bridge.

“This competition couldn’t have been a success without our sponsors,” says Traffic Engineer Craig Compas.  “McDonalds of Hayti, Portageville, and Kennett sponsored our first place $150 prize.  The local chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers sponsored

the remaining prizes totaling $200.  USBank donated a $100 savings bond for the computer competition.  We also want to thank Pizza Inn of Sikeston and Coca Cola for donating food and drinks for the students.”

MoDOT’s TRAC team partnered with five universities to offer scholarship opportunities for students in the competition.  The University of Missouri—Rolla and University of Missouri-Columbia are each offering three $1,000 civil engineering scholarships.  Arkansas State University and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale are each offering a $1,000 civil engineering scholarship.  Southeast Missouri State University is offering a $500 pre-engineering scholarship.  The results along with the students’ academic information will be submitted to the universities.

TRAC is a national organization that promotes the transportation and civil engineering fields to students.  Each MoDOT district has a TRAC team—a group of employees who visit area schools to talk about transportation and civil engineering as well as let students get exposure to what a MoDOT engineer does.

For more information, contact Williams or Compas at (573) 472-5293 or (573) 472-5310 respectively.  You may also call MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).

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