Students can build a bridge, win big bucks

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Roane County students can experience what it is like to be an engineer by using math, science and technology to design real structures for the 2013 East Tennessee Regional Model Bridge Building Contest.

The March 9 contest in the American Museum of Science and Energy, Oak Ridge, is open to middle and high school students.

Rules and specifications are available at www.amse.org.

The contest objective is to build a model bridge, according to prescribed size and weight specifications, that is capable of supporting the greatest load per unit of mass.

The top three high school winners each receive a trophy and cash award, both for the student winner and the same cash award for their school. The top three junior high winners each receive a trophy.

The high school first place winner receives $150; second place, $100; and third place, $50.

A trophy is also presented to the winner of the Most Aesthetic bridge.

 The first- and second-place high school winners advance to the International Bridge Building Contest at the Chicago Institute of Technology in the spring.

Students must pre-register their model bridge by March 1, according to the East Tennessee Regional Model Bridge Building Contest specifications, rules and registration form available at www.amse.org or flyer available inside the museum.

The middle school competition is open to grades 7-9, while students in grades 9-12 compete for the high school championship. Ninth-graders can decide whether they want to compete in the middle school or senior high division.

Sponsors of the East Tennessee Regional Model Bridge Building Contest include the American Museum of Science and Energy, American Society of Civil Engineers, Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and AMSE Foundation.

The American Museum of Science and Energy, at 300 S. Tulane Ave., Oak Ridge, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. (The museum will be closed Dec. 24-25 in observance of Christmas.)

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for ages 65 and older and $3 for ages 6-17; ages 5 and younger are admitted free.

Group rates are available for 20 or more with advance reservations.  For more information, visit www.amse.org  

To schedule a group visit, call the museum at 865-576-3200.