MOST hosts Build ‘Em & Bust ‘Em bridge building competition
The following was submitted by Maria Welych, director of marketing and public relations for the Museum of Science and Technology:
A total of 160 teams of Central New York students in grades four through 12 filled the Milton J. Museum of Science & Technology Saturday, November 14, 2015, to participate in CNY Bridges Build ‘Em & Bust ‘Em bridge building competition.
The teams all built truss bridges out of balsa wood that were “busted” during testing. The bridges are tested by putting pressure on them until they break, with equipment capturing the max load the bridge could handle before breaking. Judging is based on a bridge’s efficiency, which is measured by the load a bridge can handle divided by the weight of the bridge.
What are truss bridges? They are a unique type of bridges that are composed of trusses, which are triangle units formed by connecting struts. Truss designs vary from a simple Pratt style to the more complex Pennsylvania. The Onondaga Creek Bridge located on Plum Street is a real-life example of a Pratt truss bridge.
The goal of the competition is to teach students engineering basics, with the hope that some will consider a career in engineering. Onondaga Hill Middle School in the Westhill School District is a prime candidate to turn out engineers. Teams from the school dominated in Categories I and II, winning first place in Category I and first and second place and best design in Category II. Three of the winning teams were mentored by the same teacher, Scott Crowell.
The event is organized by the MOST and sponsored by Lockheed Martin, SRC, Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Technology Alliance of Central New York, Time Warner’s Connect a Million Minds, and New York Space Grant Consortium.
Here are the winners of this year’s competition:
Category I, for students in grades four through six (98 teams)
- First place: OHMS Team 1 from Onondaga Hill Middle School, members Abby Miggiani and Quinn Pens, both sixth-graders
- Second place: Double Dogs from Onondaga Road Elementary School, members Katelyn Hagrman, a fifth-grader, and Rachel Evans, a fourth-grader
- Third place: The Back Benders from Manlius Pebble Hill School, members Matthew Roberson and Eden Hildebrandt, both sixth-graders
- Fourth place: The 2 Hardworkers from VanDuyn School, members Daniel Smith and Sevion Felton, both fifth-graders
- Best bridge design: Shuntocy Mushrooms from Word of Life Christian Academy, team members Cassidy Primrose and Hannah Salvagni, both fifth-graders
- Best team name: Truss Us, We Got This from Pine Grove Middle School, team members Gordon Gallery, Caleb Jandolenko and Roddy Nellons, all sixth-graders
Category II, for students in grades seven and eight (37 teams)
- First place: O.H.M.S. Balsa Bashers from Onondaga Hill Middle School, team members Christian Rubino, Sophia Rubino and Ryan Clancy, all seventh-graders
- Second place: Another team from Onondaga Hill Middle School made up of team members Thomas Stamey, Jack Knapp and Josiah Miggiani, all eighth-graders
- Third place: You “King Truss” Us, We Are Bridge Builders from Gillette Road Middle School, team members Maggie Middleton and Allison Newton, both seventh-graders
- Fourth place: Atom Smasher from Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School, team members Benjamin Cameron, Joseph Capra and Huseyin Sula, all eighth-graders
- Best bridge design: Turtles from Onondaga Hill Middle School, team members Dominick Carfagno, Mike Ferrara and Scotty MacBain, all eighth-graders
- Best team name: You “King Truss” Us, We Are Bridge Builders from Gillette Road Middle School, team members Maggie Middleton and Allison Newton, both seventh-graders
Category III, for students in grades nine through 12 (25 teams)
- First place: In God We Truss from the Institute of Technology at Central, team members Ahmed Althour, The Ngo and Keegan Foster, all juniors
- Second place: Squad Atoms from the Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School, team members Azamat Karimov, Riley Phuc and Nicholas Brown, all ninth-graders
- Third place: Snap, Crackle and Pop from Cicero-North Syracuse High School, team members Joshua Middleton, Justin Pellegrino and Cody Barth, all sophomores
- Fourth place: Truss in the Force from George Fowler High School, team members Abshiro Abubeker, Jessie Chen and Ronald Rodriguez, all seniors
- Best bridge design: Kappa Gamma Mu, team members Kelly Mahan, an eighth-grader, and Maria Castello and Jemma Mallia, both ninth-graders
- Best team name: Truss in the Force from George Fowler High School, team members Abshiro Abubeker, Jessie Chen and Ronald Rodriguez, all seniors