MCMS students take second place in bridge building competition
Special to the Citizen
Students from Morgan County Middle School took second place in the second annual K”NEX Bridge Building Competition, which was held at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville on Monday, Oct. 26. The contest took place in the auditorium of the Lounsbury College of Education, and students from four area middle schools were invited to compete. Students from Morgan County designed and built two bridges for the contest.
In preparation for the competition, eighth grade science teachers Shannon Collier, Sherry Davis, and Karen Vanderheyden jointly designed a differentiated unit on Force and Motion, and students investigated how forces and motion related to bridges. Students concentrated on various aspects of bridge building, bridge forces, and bridge research, while science teacher Karen Vanderheyden and paraprofessional Carla Johnson closely monitored their progress. Eventually, several students were selected as bridge builders and alternates.
The students who represented Morgan County Middle School at the competition were Dustin Grant, Chan Courchaine, Allan Peart, Cain Bentley, Dillon Riedlinger, Savannah Stell, Jack LeClair, Cameron Busbee, Valerie Hawk, Clark Owen, Jacob Jarrard, and Ben McMichael. Alternates included Ben Shytle, Zack Jenkins, Garrett Gardner, Dalton Sumner, Hunter Lane, Rebecca Huckaby, and Sam Cooper. Pictured with the students are GCSU Professor Dr. Victoria Deneroff, who sponsored the contest, and science teacher Karen Vanderheyden, who accompanied the students to the event.
The contest rules were as follows: students needed to construct a model of a bridge from K’NEX materials, which consisted of two towers connected by a pedestrian walkway, and which cleared an area 50 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters tall. The bridge which held the most weight would be declared the winner. Bigger and bigger weights were then placed upon the midpoints of the bridges. Students from various schools excitedly watched as the bridges dramatically failed, one by one, under various amounts of weight. Morgan County’s bridge took second place.
All contest participants received a Certificate of Achievement for their efforts. All students in all of the eighth grade classes, however, should consider themselves winners as well. Their input and encouragement during their science classes were important ingredients in this recipe for success.