• A stator in the third powerhouse at Grand Coulee.
  • The penstocks above the water at Hoover Dam
  • The top of Shasta Dam in California
  • An automated gate structure on a canal in Washington.
  • An aerial photo of the sunsetting at Ruedi Reservoir in Colorado.


Colorado high school students with a passion for science demonstrated their engineering and design skills at the 45th annual Colorado High School Bridge Building Competition at the Bureau of Reclamation's hydraulic and materials laboratories in Lakewood, Colo.

In Region 1, Ancil Lindley took first with a 25.27 gram basswood bridge that held 181.31 kilograms, which means the bridge held 7,175 times its own weight.

Other students who placed in Region 1: second, Alex Spoor of Cherry Creek High School; third, Alexander Lam of Cherry Creek High School; fourth, Tyler Rossi of Front Range Christian School; and fifth, Adam Martelon of Cherry Creek High School.

In Region 2, Tyler Joy, a student Cheyenne Mountain High School, won with a 13.21 gram bridge that held 125.96 kilograms. That is 9,535 times the bridge's weight.

Other students who placed in Region 2: second, Hunter Reehoorn of Cheyenne Mountain High School; third, Anthony Valdez of Rifle High School; fourth, Kahlin Capwell of Rifle High School; and fifth, Gideon Hallman of Eads High School.

In the team competition for Region 1, Cherry Creek High School secured first place with three bridges that held over a total of 11,505 times their own weight. Other teams from Region 1 that placed: second, Front Range Christian School; third, Ancil Lindley; fourth, Timberline; and fifth, Green Mountain High School.

In the team competition for Region 2, Cheyenne Mountain High School won with bridges that held a total of 15,630 times their weight. Other teams from Region 2 that placed: second, Rifle High School; third, Eads High School; fourth, Rampart High School; and fifth, Buena Vista High School.

Competitors create bridges out of only basswood and adhesive. The winning models were determined by the structural efficiency ratio, which is the amount of weight the bridge can hold divided by the weight of the bridge. The winners had the highest ratios.

The state is split into two regions: northern (Region 1) and southern (Region 2). The first and second place winners from each region will be invited to compete at the International Bridge Building Contest in Las Vegas.

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

Released: February 25, 2012