Saturday, October 05, 2013

West Point Bridge Design Contest

Our nation's first engineering school is sponsoring its 12th annual bridge design contest.  K-12 students are invited to download the free software (it's very easy and fun to use) and compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships (to the school of their choice, of course, since West Point doesn't offer "scholarships").  From the web site:
The purpose of the contest is to provide middle school and high school students with a realistic, engaging introduction to engineering. We provide this contest as a service to education--and as a tribute to the Academy's two hundred years of service to the United States of America.

The contest will provide you with an opportunity to:
Learn about engineering through a realistic, hands-on problem-solving experience.
Learn about the engineering design process--the application of math, science, and technology to create devices and systems that meet human needs.
Learn about truss bridges and how they work.
Learn how engineers use the computer as a problem-solving tool.
We also hope you will have some fun pitting your problem-solving skills against those of other virtual bridge designers around the globe.

Qualifying Round

The Qualifying Round of the contest runs from January 13 to May 2, 2014. To enter:
Form a team, consisting of either one or two members.
Download and install the West Point Bridge Designer 2014 software.
Use the West Point Bridge Designer 2014 to design a bridge. Save your design as a bridge design file.
Register for the contest. Don't forget your team name and password!
Log in to your Team Home Page and upload your bridge design file for judging. You will receive immediate feedback about your current standing in the contest. For more information about how designs are judged, please see the Official Rules.
Use the West Point Bridge Designer 2014 to improve your design.
Log in to this website and submit your improved design. You may submit as many designs as you like; however, only your team's best design will be included in the contest standings.
At the end of the Qualifying Round, the top 40 eligible teams will be invited to compete in the Semi-Final Round.
You can download the 2013 software now to learn how it works and to practice bridge designs.

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