MC Wins Award at Model Bridge Contest
Malden Catholic High School’s Model Bridge Club recently competed in the 2013 Model Bridge Competition sponsored jointly by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section and the Massachusetts Pre-Engineering Program in collaboration with the Northeastern University's NUPrime Program and MassDOT.
More than 200 students from across the state representing over 25 schools dedicated hundreds of hours over three months to design and build their model bridges to exacting specifications. Constructed of Poly-Panel foam insulation board, manila folders and adhesive, this year’s bridges were designed to span 36-inches, weigh less than one pound, and hold at least 25 pounds. The competition culminated recently at Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center with a panel of local experts judging and testing the bridges for aesthetics and strength.
Malden Catholic entered 7 bridges in the competition, capturing 2nd place in the Most Aesthetic Bridge category. The award-winning bridge was designed and built by sophomore Dan Marino of Winchester with help from fellow sophomores Mark Mozzicato and Connor O’Neill, both of Stoneham and Alejandro DePeña of Medford. In addition to its pleasing design, the bridge held 97.5 pounds, good for 4th place in the strength category. The Model Bridge Club is moderated by Science Department Chair, David Chuckran, PhD.
Members of the Model Bridge Club are now competing in the West Point Bridge Design contest sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. In this global on-line design competition students are using a software package developed specially by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to design truss bridges, create structural models and run simulated load tests to evaluate the bridges’ strength, refine the designs to create stronger and lighter bridges, and estimate the cost to construct the bridges. Teams compete with other virtual bridge designers from around the world for scholarship and notebook computer prizes that will awarded to the top 6 teams.
Model Bridge is one of dozens of extra and co-curricular activities offered at Malden Catholic. Along with its Robotics Club, Model Bridge compliments MC’s Introduction to Engineering course within the school's science curriculum. This course is designed for students who wish to explore the possibility of pursuing an engineering degree in college. Several engineering disciplines including mechanical, electrical, civil, aerospace, and chemical are explored. Students become familiar with the engineering design process, problem solving methodology, physical and virtual modeling and approaches to open-ended problems, all helping to develop an innovation focused mindset.