Lincoln-Way East students participate in annual Bridge Building Competition
Thursday, December 28, 2017

In mid-December, Lincoln-Way students from all three schools began participating in the annual Bridge Building Competition. Students placed weight onto each bridge to test its strength, allowing the contest to recognize individuals who could best design, construct and test the most efficient bridge within given specifications. Efficiency is determined by dividing the mass held by the mass of the bridge. All students are encouraged to participate regardless of grade level.

At Lincoln-Way East, a record-high of 245 participants competed in the competition. Of the entries, 120 were from physics classes, 68 were from engineering physics, 50 were from chemistry, one was from forensics, and six were entered by teachers.

The first place Griffin winner was Hunter Sakiewicz, with a bridge efficiency of 3179. His bridge had a mass of 15.73 grams (approximately the mass of three nickels) and held 73.62 kg (approximately 160 pounds). The efficiency number of 3179 indicates that the bridge held 3179 times its own mass. Students who took second through fourth place were: Brendan Figus (2931 efficiency), Spencer Martin (2929 efficiency), and Ryan Utt (2446 efficiency). All four students are entitled to represent Lincoln-Way East at the regional contest held at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on January 23, 2018.

“It is great to see the students work on projects outside of the classroom that relate to topics learned in the classroom,” said teacher Michael Murphy. “It was obvious from their designs and results, that many students devoted a lot of hard work and time into this project…It seems that this project sparks the creativity of a lot of students.”