Bridge building competition sponsored by MoDOT

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - More than 250 students coming from at least 30 different schools attended a bridge building competition Thursday sponsored by MoDOT.

According to MoDOT, the competition challenges students to design and construct the most efficient model bridge using limited materials such as 15 pieces of balsa wood, thread and glue.

A senior competing in the event says competitors learn patience.

"You had to slow down and really think about it," said Joshua Tilmon. "I think it made a lot of people learn patience because the way it is the wood is so flimsy so they had to take their time and it wasn't something you could just fly through."

Students also competed for the best computer based electronic design.

"I know the kids always enjoy it, they look forward to it every year, " says Mark Gihring of Oak Ridge R6 High School. "I actually don't allow them to spend much class time on it." Gihring tells Heartland News, "They take it home, they're motivated."

In addition, MoDOT has partnered with Southern Illinois University, University of Missouri-Columbia, Southeast Missouri State University, Arkansas State University, and Missouri University of Science and Technology to offer seniors interested in civil engineering scholarships up to $10,000.

Craig Compas a MoDOT District Traffic Engineer says he hope events like this will get more students interested in the engineering field. "Engineering field is lacking," Compas says. "They need some additional people going into the engineering filed."

Prizes were awarded for the most aesthetic bridge, computer based bridge, and top bridge builder.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.