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2014 Student Model Bridge Building Contest
Southern Nevada Region

newContest Results | Rules | Specifications | Registration Form | Photo Gallery

The 2014 Southern Nevada Regional Student Model Bridge Building Contest held March 1st at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas marked the 25th anniversary of the contest here in southern Nevada.

This year, 480 bridges were submitted by 689 students representing 61 schools from the Southern Nevada Region. A record number 40 elementary schools participated, submitting 325 bridges in that division. Twelve middle and ten high schools also competed, submitting 73 and 82 bridges respectively.


The Southern Nevada Annual Student Model Bridge Building Contest is a regional program and interactive activity that allows students to apply the science and math lessons of the classroom to a hands-on project. The regional contest enhances the appeal of engineering careers to students and begins establishing their relationships with the professional community.

Using materials from an official kit, students design and construct a small wooden bridge according to specifications (separate ones for elementary, middle, and high school students).

During the contest, each bridge is weighed, tested to failure, and scored by its efficiency, which is the carried load divided by the bridge's weight. Students compete individually and for school prizes in three divisions -- elementary, middle school, and high school -- with prizes and trophies awarded to students in each division who design, build and test the model bridge with the highest efficiency.

The top two high school finishers from each region are eligible to advance to the International Contest. For more information, see the International Bridge Contest website.

SOUTHERN NEVADA TEACHERS: Annually, nearly 1,500 students from high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in southern Nevada participate in the regional contest. If you would like assistance in getting a program started in your school, or have any questions about past or future competitions, e-mail reastland@usbr.gov. Please encourage your students to participate! It is an exciting and rewarding experience for them, and for the coaches too.

The construction and testing of model bridges promotes the study and application of fundamental principles of physics and engineering and also helps students develop "hands-on" skills through bridge construction. By participating in the annual contest, students experience the life of an engineer, designing structures to a set of specifications and seeing them perform their function. They are also provided with an academically-oriented classroom or extracurricular activity which is recognized school-wide.


The contest is sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Southern Nevada Branch, Civil Squared Engineers, and John A. Martin & Associates, with support from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Clark County School District, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Terracon Consultants, Orth-Rodgers and Associates, VTN, GC Wallace, and Las Vegas Electric.

newContest Results | Rules | Specifications| Registration Form | Photo Gallery

Updated: March 2014