First Flight Middle School student earns second place in NCDOT competition

Published 2:45 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

First Flight Middle School eighth grader Harry Lipchak received second place in the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Model Bridge Building Competition.

The state competition took place April 26 in Raleigh and was open to middle and high school students across the state. Participants were tasked with designing and building 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’s bridge design came in just one-third of a pound shy of winning first place in the middle school division. This is the second time Lipchak has entered and placed in the competition. In spring of 2023, he and John Bryson received third place.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

“Dare County Schools would like to thank Harry’s coach and eighth grade math teacher, Maria Wise, along with STEM Teacher Liz Gray and Career and Technical Education Coordinator Ashley Basnight for their support and encouragement,” stated a DCS announcement.

“I am thrilled to have an opportunity to congratulate Harry for the second year in a row. Last year, I hinted at Harry’s potential future in engineering, but it’s becoming evident that the future is now,” remarked Dare County Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight.

“It is a tremendous honor to recognize Harry’s achievements and the unwavering support provided by our exceptional First Flight Middle School staff. We firmly believe in providing each student with opportunities for success beyond the traditional classroom. We are all so proud of Harry’s achievements and look forward to a bright future!”

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 hosted 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.