February 2017 marks the 50th year of the Colorado High School Bridge Building Contest. In addition to the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), this event is co-sponsored by the Professional Engineers of Colorado and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado. The event is hosted by Reclamation's Technical Service Center with the Concrete, Geotechnical, and Structural Lab leading the activity. This event is open to all Colorado high school students. Builders of the most efficient bridges receive prizes like scholarships, bonds, and technology equipment. Middle/junior high school students may also participate as unofficial participants.
Students construct model bridges using specifications found at: http://nspe-co.org/events_bridge_ building.php. Students can choose to attend the contest or mail-in their bridge to be tested at the event on their behalf. Each bridge is tested by applying increasing loads until the bridge breaks. The winning bridge will have the highest efficiency number (the maximum weight the bridge is able to hold divided by the weight of the bridge).
Teachers, family members, and interested members of the community are welcome at this event. After all of the bridges have been tested, Reclamation volunteers will use the 5 million pound testing machine to crush a 2,500 lb. concrete cylinder.
Registration Deadline: Friday, February 10, 2017 Mail-In Deadline: Bridges must be received by Feb. 16, 2017. Mail to: Bridge Building Contest, ATTN: 86-68530 Bureau of Reclamation P.O. Box 25007 Bldg. 67, Rm. 152 Denver Federal Center Denver, CO 80225-0007.