To the Times of Ti:
National Engineers Week was Feb. 17-23, which celebrates the positive contributions engineers make to society and is a catalyst for outreach across the country to kids and adults alike. Engineers play a critical roll in our society’s infrastructure.
Locally, the Capital District’s Engineers Week Celebration was held on Feb. 14-15. Engineers gather at the event to learn new technologies in various fields of engineering. A student model bridge contest is also held every year for students to design and construct the most efficient bridge out of balsam wood. The winning bridge is based on the bridge’s efficiency, (weight of bridge divided by the weight of the load the bridge carried prior to failing as a percentage). This competition is an opportunity to introduce fun and exciting educational experiences in engineering to high school students who may have an interest in pursuing a career in engineering.
The fifth annual Ticonderoga School Student Model Bridge Competition was held on Dec. 15, 2012, that was sponsored by the Ticonderoga Kiwanis Club. Students from the Ticonderoga Middle School, High School and St. Mary’s School participated in the event.
The middle school students built model bridges out of popsicle sticks during a 1 ½ hour time limit and then load the bridges till failure, resulting in some tremendous displays of shattering popsicle sticks. Five out of the nine bridges carried over 50-pounds. Awards were presented for aesthetics and bridge efficiency. This year a bridge carried a 170-pound load, breaking the previous record of 121-pounds.
A record was also set in the high school student balsam bridge competition. A bridge weighing all of 5-ounces carried an amazing 260-pound load. These students will have the opportunity to bring their balsam wood bridges to the Capital District competition.
This event would never happen without all of the dedicated volunteers from the Ticonderoga Kiwanis, members of the Ticonderoga Teachers Association and coaches: Paul Jebb, Jim Marshall and John Reale. A big thank you goes out to Graham Bailey who had the vision for the event.
I’d also like to mention that The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – Mohawk-Hudson section will be offering a four-year, $1,000 per year, scholarship to a graduating senior that intends to enroll in an educational institution majoring in Civil Engineering. Information on the scholarship has been sent to local high school guidance departments. Schools are encouraged to submit more than one application per school.
The Mohawk-Hudson Section encompasses much of eastern upstate New York. Over the years, numerous local students have won this award and have gone on to careers in civil engineering. The deadline for this scholarship is April 19, 2013. For more details on the scholarship or a copy of the application, please go to http://www.ascemohawkhudson.org.
I look forward to attending next year’s bridge competition and hope to see a local high school student receive this scholarship.
Anthony W. DeFranco, PE, M.ASCE
Past President-ASCE Mohawk-Hudson Section
Past Co-Chair-Capital District
Engineers Week Celebration