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For Immediate Release
February 24, 2017

IPFW College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science Hosts High School Bridge Building Contest as Part of Engineers Week

IPFW College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science Hosts High School Bridge Building Contest as Part of Engineers Week Image 1
Engineers Week 2016 Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science (ETCS) at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is celebrating Engineers Week with the 27th annual High School Bridge Building Contest. As part of the Look to Your Future Program, registered high school students will also learn about the college, explore labs, meet students and faculty members, and enter raffles. The public is invited to watch the Bridge Contest.

The event takes place Saturday, February 25, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the ETCS building lobby. Dean Manoochehr Zoghi will welcome everyone at 10 a.m. The Bridge Contest testing will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end before noon, when prizes will be awarded.

One highlight of the Engineers Week High School Bridge Contest is watching a machine called "The Crusher" do its work while students look on hoping their bridge can withstand the most pressure without breaking. Designed by IPFW students in a senior design course many years ago, The Crusher has been modified to produce up to 2,000 pounds of pressure.

The event is held in collaboration with the Northeast Indiana DiscoverE Committee. Each year, local high school students are challenged by the Northeast Indiana DiscoverE Engineer's Week Committee to apply the engineering design process to model construction while considering the best possible approach to achieve strength, flexibility, and creativity. Contestants build their bridges prior to the competition using a maximum of 200 Popsicle sticks and yellow wood glue. The lightest bridge to span a 24-inch gap holding the maximum load with minimum deflection (bend) wins. Students enter as individuals or as a team, with a maximum of three members. Cash prizes range from $100 to $250.

This year, the student with a record-breaking score will receive an additional cash award. In addition, the winning bridge contestant also wins $50 for the mentor who helped them with the project. Mentors are often teachers, parents, and former participants.

For more information, contact Carol Dostal at 260-481-6905 or dostalc@ipfw.edu.

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