In total, twenty- four Brandon teams submitted documents for consideration. Fifteen team entries have been accepted and these teams will continue on to compete in the 9th and 10th grade division in Grand Rapids, on April 21st, against teams from all over Michigan. Half of their score will be determined by their bridge model performance. MDOT engineers inspect the bridges for compliance to design criteria and then weigh and strength test them. Their strength to weight ratios will be calculated and compared to other competitors. The other half of their score is based on a 7-10 minute oral presentation, again to MDOT engineers. In this presentation, teams must share their overall experience including their research, engineering design process application, and their design, construction, and teamwork challenges. The freshmen have been working on this project since last October.
The nine remaining teams, while not qualifying for the state contest, will compete against each other locally. The MDOT Bridge Challenge is in its 14th year. It is a part of MDOT’s Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Program , a hands on educational program designed for integration into science, math, and social science classes. Brandon STEM students have entered this competition every year since the STEM program began in the 2010-2011 school year.