First Flight Middle School students place third in state model bridge building competition

Published 8:49 am Sunday, May 21, 2023

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First Flight Middle School seventh graders John Bryson and Harry Lipchak received third place in the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Model Bridge Building Competition.

The state competition took place April 28 in Raleigh and was open to middle and high school students across the state. Participants were tasked with designing, building and presenting a model truss bridge made from balsa wood.

During the competition, students showcased their model bridge to a panel of judges and were scored based on a written report, oral presentation, a design drawing, and the bridge’s structural efficiency. Lipchak and Bryson’s total score came in just two points shy of second place in the middle school division.

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“We are incredibly proud of these two future engineers,” said Dare County Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight. “Their success is a result of the willingness and hard work of these two young men, with the support of several of our First Flight Middle School staff and their parents, to take their learning beyond the classroom and to be the first to compete in this event. Students, parents, and school staff working in combination to increase learning by combining student interests with educational opportunities. That is what great schools are all about.”

Since 2000, the N.C. Department of Transportation – in partnership with Carolinas Associated General Contractors and the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina – has held the statewide Model Bridge Building Competition to encourage middle school and high school students to develop the math and science skills that are used in transportation, construction and engineering careers. The competition also provides an opportunity for students to showcase their skills and creativity, as well as learn from their peers and professionals in the field.