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Susquehannock Students win Bridge Building Contest
March 16, 2017
Susquehannock High School engineering students finished first, second, and third in the Pennsylvania Society for Professional Engineers (PSPE) Bridge Building Competition. The annual contest, sponsored by the Lincoln Chapter of the PSPE, was recently held at Penn State York, York, PA.
Junior Adam Beamesderfer was awarded first place in the competition. Senior Ethan Daviau came in second place, and junior Conor Custer won third place. All three students earned county-wide recognition, trophies, and cash prizes.
The bridges in the contest were made of balsawood sticks and wood glue. They had to conform to certain criteria in order to qualify for testing. The students designed and constructed their bridges prior to the competition. “We did everything in the process, from research and design to the actual construction,” Beamesderfer said. “I learned the value of being regimented in the design process and the importance of research. I learned from collaborating with other students, and that care and precision are crucial to the finished product,” said Beamesderfer.
Custer came in seventh place in the 2016 competition. This year, he earned third place. “I improved on my previous design by analyzing its flaws,” Custer said. After high school, Custer would like to attend college and major in mechanical or chemical engineering.
Prizes were awarded for the top three bridges, which showed the highest structural efficiency, based on their weight and how much weight they withstood. The bridges were loaded on to an apparatus and then stressed to their limits, many of them collapsing or breaking into pieces. “If a bridge is well built, it actually explodes when tested to maximum capacity,” added Custer.
28 engineering students from Susquehannock High School entered the contest, the students said.