Students Compete in State’s TRAC Bridge Building Challenge
JACKSON, MS — Mississippi middle and high school students recently competed in the statewide Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Bridge Building Challenge at the Clyde Muse Center on the Rankin Campus of Hinds Community College in Pearl. Over 200 students participated in this year’s competition.
TRAC is an education outreach program of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and introduces students to a variety of career opportunities in the field of engineering. The program teaches students how to apply math and science concepts to help identify and resolve engineering barriers in the transportation industry.
MDOT utilizes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education as a learning tool in the program and provides each team with a TRAC Challenge Entry Kit and materials and guidelines to construct a bridge. Each participating team submits a portfolio with their bridge design, a PowerPoint presentation and the strength-to-weight ratio of their bridge.
“This TRAC competition gives students the opportunity to learn about bridge building through hands-on experience,” said Melinda McGrath, PE, MDOT Executive Director. “MDOT’s goal is to inspire young students to explore the world of engineering while they have fun learning about the functionality of bridges in a transportation system.”
During the competition, teams present PowerPoint presentations and test bridge models for mechanics and strength-to-weight ratio. The top three teams in each grade category are honored. The 2019 State TRAC Bridge Challenge winners were announced in a program at the end of this annual event.
7th and 8th Grade
First place – PB&J Bridge, Northwest Rankin Middle School, Brandon
Second place – Three Trusketeers, Northwest Rankin Middle School
Third place – H.C.L. Engineering, Guntown Middle School, Guntown
9th and 10th Grade
First place – ASTRA, Moss Point Career and Technical Center, Moss Point
Second place – MAL Function, St. Martin High School, Ocean Springs
Third place – United Structurally Sound Republic, St. Martin High School
11th and 12th Grade
First Place – Omega, East Union High School, Blue Springs
Second place – A.A.R.T., Moss Point Career and Technical Center
Third Place – Coastal Bridges, Inc., Moss Point Career and Technical Center