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Released On: February 21, 2009

Colorado State High School Bridge Building Competition Crushes Bridges
Students from around the state used their ingenuity and skill to compete at the 2009 Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition held today at the Bureau of Reclamation's laboratory in Lakewood.

In Region 1, John Spainhower, a student at the Denver School of Science and Technology, won when his 21.26 gram basswood bridge held 39.58 kilograms. That is 1861 times its own weight.

Other students who placed in Region 1 are: Second, Rebecca Travers of Center Academy; Third, Francisco Flores of Englewood High School; Fourth, Bryan Neufeld of John F Kennedy High School; and Fifth, Evan Chan of Cherry Creek High School.

In Region 2, Max Vanatta, a student at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, won when his 14.03 gram bridge held 32.13 kilograms. That is 2290 times its own weight.

Other students who placed in Region 2 are: Second, Kyle Tivnan of Cheyenne Mountain High School; Third, Cameron Misegadis of Coronado High School; Fourth, Tom Odea of Cheyenne Mountain; and Fifth, Caleb Ziegler of Rifle High School.

In the team competition from Region 1, Englewood High School finished first when their three bridges held more than 2912 times their own weight. Other teams from Region 1 are: Second, Denver School of Technology; Third, Cherry Creek High School; Fourth, Center Academy, and Fifth, John F. Kennedy High School.

In the team competition from Region 2, Cheyenne Mountain High School of Colorado Springs finished first when their three bridges held more than 6081 times their own weight. Other teams from Region 2 are: Second, Coronado High School; Third, Rifle High School; Fourth, Buena Vista High School; and Fifth, Wasson High School.

This year students designed a simplified version of a real-world bridge. The bridges were built with basswood and glue. The winning models were determined by the structural efficiency ratio, which is the maximum load divided by the weight of the bridge.

The state is divided into two regions, northern (Region 1) and southern (Region 2), with winners determined from each region. The first and second place winners from each region will be invited to compete in the international competition to be held on April 25, 2009, in Bellingham, Wash.

The contest is jointly sponsored by the Professional Engineers of Colorado, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado, and the Bureau of Reclamation.

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