Delmarva Christian High School physical science teacher Tiffany Haley and her ninth-grade students participated in Delaware Department of Transportation’s Second Annual Delaware Bridge Design Competition May 1.
They returned with second- and third-place awards, garnering the largest number of awards for any one school competing. “I am happy that they placed, but even more importantly, I am pleased that they learned something, whether that was a professional skill or a scientific one,” said Haley.
The aim of DelDOT’s hands-on design competition is to engage students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math by addressing a real-world problem. This year’s objective was for students to design and build balsa wood tied-arch (bowstring) bridges that used the least amount of materials and would support a desired load.
Students were also required to create and submit a report portfolio that outlined the students’ analysis and design process and provided a CAD-generated drawing of their design.
On competition day, with the bridge and portfolio completed and on display, a member of each team had to give an oral presentation on their bridge while judges checked for rule compliance. Bridges were also weighed and tested for strength.
Delmarva Christian was represented well with 40 freshman students comprising 12 teams entering the competition. In addition to receiving trophies for their winning entries, the two winning three-member DCHS teams received monetary awards totaling $1,350 that will be distributed to the student team members.