Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Bridge Building Competition
What schools are eligible? What is the Northeast Quadrant of Pennsylvania?
The Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Bridge Building Competition (an educational non-profit, incorporated and a registered Pennsylvania charitable organization) encourages all public and private schools in the northeast quadrant of Pennsylvania to select three students to represent their school in a unique educational experience. The northeast quadrant encompasses the area from the Delaware River to Galeton and from the New York border to Shenandoah.
Are there any fees or charges involved?
There are no fees or charges to a school or student participants of this program as all expenses are covered by our sponsors. The only costs involved is for the adhesive that each participant chooses and transportation to the Viewmont Mall in Dickson City, the site of the competition.
What are the objectives of the competition?
The objective of the competition is to provide a scientific/educational learning experience that promotes a learning opportunity to encourage to excel in scientific and academic competence. Secondary students (public and private) are encouraged to demonstrate their understanding of scientific and engineering principles by transferring conceptual knowledge everyday experiences, in this case bridge structures. This program hopes to encourage youth to investigate career opportunities in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. This is accomplished by having participants design and construct model bridges. Each bridge must be designed and constructed by the student from 3/32-inch square basswood that meets specific dimensional criteria established by the International Bridge Building Committee www.iit.edu/~hsbridge.
What is the age/grade level of the students eligible to participate?
The competition is geared to grades 9-12 because the International Competition, to which our 1st & 2nd place winners are eligible to compete is geared to grades 9 through 12; but, we do accept some students in grades 7 & 8 as exhibition participants.
What awards and prizes are available?
Trophies/plaques are awarded to the participants whose bridges have the highest efficiencies. Trophies are awarded to the schools represented by these three winners, certificates of participation and commemorative T-shirts are presented to each participant. Participants are also eligible for scholarships to local colleges/universities (when available) based upon their placement in the final results of the competition. The First Place Award is in memory of Mr. Angelo Rosati (founder of CECO Associates) sponsored by CECO Associates - Consulting Engineers. We also present a special Architectural Excellence Award in memory of Mr. Thomas Kovall (a deceased Abington Heights Physics Teacher), who died after a short and courageous battle with cancer. The Excellence in Architectural trophy is sponsored by Mrs. Tina Merli (Worthington-Scranton Campus, Penn State University professor) and Donald Kieffer (retired Physics teacher that taught with Mr. Kovall). The winner of the architectural award will be selected (from all the bridges that meet the specified criteria) prior to the start of the competition by a panel of professional engineers and will not necessarily result as one of the top three winners.
Must a participant be present or may they participate in absentia?
No, a student may participate in absentia. If a student is unable to be present and personally participate in this event, but is otherwise qualified, we will test the bridge for him/her. Students participating in absentia will be qualified in the same way as other participants to receive awards and prizes. An absent student's bridge will be photographed during the testing and a picture will be sent to him/her. Arrangements can be made to return the bridge after the competition at the convenience of the co-directors.
Are bridges checked for adherence to criteria specifications?
All bridges are checked for conformity , by a panel of professional engineers to ensure that each bridge adheres to the specifications as delineated by the International Bridge Building Committee. Any bridge not meeting the specifications may be modified in an attempt to meet the specifications prior to the start of the actual competition which will commence at 10:30 am and/or as soon as all bridges have been checked. Any bridge not meeting specifications by this time will be disqualified from eligibility to advance to the International Competition; but, may be tested as exhibitions at the participants discretion.
What is the next step for the winners of this competition?
The two bridges, from the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Bridge Building Competition, with the highest efficiency (efficiency = [net load supported by the bridge to a maximum of 50 kg]/[bridge mass])are eligible to advance to the International Bridge Building Competition. The winners of the competition are encouraged to improve on their design to hopefully increase the efficiency of their bridge and to improve their chances of success at the International Competition. The participant must remember that any changes made must keep their bridge within the criteria specified.
Who determines the criteria specifications?
The criterion for the bridges are determined each year by the region hosting the International Competition along with the approval of the International Bridge Building Committee whose home base is located at the Illinois Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.
What is available to us?
The co-directors of the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Bridge Building Competition provide the expertise to schools to conduct their own competition. This expertise availability includes communicating, or even school visitation, to explain a detailed description and procedures used in the program. We will also provide participant at the regional competition with thirty pieces of 3/32" x 3/32" x 24" basswood which must be used in the construction of their bridge for the competition. The participants will provide the adhesive they chose to use, which may be any commonly available adhesive.
The recommended manner to choose the participants that will represent their school for the regional competition is to hold a preliminary competition with the school, or they may simply select three participants.
Who do I contact for information?
Schools, teachers and/or students interested in participating in the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Competition should contact Mr. Donald H. Kieffer (email: DHKIEFFER@ALUM.LHUP.EDU; Phone: (570)586-0197; or Fax: (570) 587-1154) to obtain the pertinent information and procedures necessary for participation.
Who covers the cost of the competition?
Sponsors defray the costs of the operating expenses and use of specialized equipment needed for the regional competition the day of the competition. Sponsors are necessary to help promote the success of this adventure and to ensure the quality of the engineers and leaders of tomorrow. Colleges/universities, and/or organizations interested in inspiring young people to explore fields of science, engineering, mathematics and technology are encouraged to become sponsors of the competition. Sponsorship may occur by several or in combination of various methods which may include, but are not limited to the following: (A) purchase of a full page B&W ad containing the company logo, message to the participants and/or pertinent company information provided by the sponsoring entity($100 which includes imprinting on commemorative T-shirts) in the program book, (B) scholarships, (C) providing liability insurance, (D) judges to check participant bridges for adherence to specified criteria and (E) providing specialized equipment used the day of the competition (e.g. video projector and screen, public address system, etc.). Each student participant and judge will receive a certificate of participation, a program book and a commemorative T-shirt imprinted with all of our sponsors. Any group interested in becoming a sponsor of this unique educational program should should contact Mr. Donald H. Kieffer (email: DHKIEFFER@ALUM.LHUP.EDU; Phone: (570)586-0197; or Fax: (570) 587-1154).