Area students to test bridge-building skills

TICONDEROGA - In preparation for the third annual Kiwanis Bridge Building Contest students from Ticonderoga High and Middle Schools and St. Mary's were recently treated to a presentation by NYSDOT Regional Construction Engineer, John Grady.

The 2010 contest will be held on Dec 18 at Ti Middle School.

Grady, who is overseeing construction of the Crown Point Bridge, described the various types of bridges and some of the critical design elements that go into designing a bridge and when each type was best suited. He also showed the students work under way at the Crown Point Bridge project including a slow motion video of the old bridge demolition.

This year's bridge building contest will be the largest to date with about 45 students competing.

Ticonderoga Middle School technology teacher Jim Marshall, Ti High School science teacher Paul Jebb and Pam Arzberger of St. Mary's are providing mentoring and other assistance to the students.

Graham Bailey, past president of Kiwanis, who organized the event in 2009, will also provide guidance to the students.

The principle objectives of this contest are to stimulate interest among students in engineering as a career and to teach students to work effectively in teams.

Middle school students will construct their bridges followed by judging and loading the bridges to failure. Trophies will be awarded for the strongest and best looking bridges.

This year co-sponsors of the event are Reale Construction Co. and International Paper.

High school students will also compete in the contest as part of the school's physics class project.

High school students will also be eligible to compete in the Capital District regional contest to be held in Albany in February.

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