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Student Engineers Battle For Bridge Supremacy

Coming up Wednesday, March 23rd, we’ll be hosting the regional bridge building contest, which brings students from middle and high schools in Cashmere, Chelan, East Wenatchee, Entiat, Leavenworth, Waterville and Wenatchee to compete for the chance at a scholarship.

The contest highlights the practical application of engineering curriculum at area schools.  Students design and engineer a model bridge that is subjected it to a weight stress test. The student who builds the winning structure will advance to the 2011 International Bridge Building Contest in Chicago – the winner of which gets a partial scholarship to engineering school.

Jacob Cantrell took second in last year’s regional competition at the Museum and went on to compete at Internationals, which was in Philadelphia last year. 

Jacob’s a junior this year and it’s his second year competing in the event. He said he got into engineering because of the classes he’s taken, which include drafting and autoCAD.

(Jacob, middle, holds his prize at last year’s competition.)

When it comes to building his bridge, he said simply: “You just gotta make sure it doesn’t weigh too much and you’ve gotta have a good design.”

As for this year he said he’s just thinking about regionals and he’s just hoping he’s does well and places because last year he wasn’t even expecting to accomplish that.

The kid’s a worker though and in his off time from school he holds down a job at ShopKo in Wenatchee and he drives combine during wheat harvest for his grandparents who live near Ritzville.

When asked why he works so hard he said: “College is expensive.

Too true.

Swing by the Museum on the 23rd at 6 p.m. to watch Jacob and other students from around the region compete in the bridge building competition.

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