Port Angeles Bridge Builders Claim Top Three Places in Contest

Port Angeles Bridge Builders Claim Top Three Places in Contest
Posted on 02/13/2017
Port Angeles Bridge Builders Claim Top Three Places in ContestPort Angeles, Wash. - On Saturday, February 4, fifteen Port Angeles High School (PAHS) students made the trip to the Museum of Flight to compete in the annual American Society of Civil Engineers' Popsicle Bridge Competition. 

“There were 36 bridges tested from 10 schools,” PAHS science instructor Derek Johnson said. “We usually do well, but we haven’t won first place for a few years. This year we placed first, second, and third, which is our best performance ever.”

Students devote dozens of hours over three months to create, design, re-design, and test their bridges in consultation with practicing engineers from the Port Angeles community. 

Bridges are over two feet long and weigh less than 1 lb. The overall competition includes combined scores for strength and aesthetics. 

Engineers - Joe Donisi, Clallam County Road Department; Seth Rodman, Zenovic & Associates; and Gene Unger, private engineer  came in weekly after school to assist the students.  

On Wednesday, February 8, the engineers awarded scholarships to several of the students for their bridge building efforts.

1st place overall (395 lb.) $500 scholarships each
Bonnie Sires
Owen Nevarill
Lauren Rankin

2nd place overall (368 lb.) $300 scholarships each
Ryan Amiot
Brynn Clark
Drake Anderson

3rd place overall (223 lb.)
Maya Wharton
Lael Butler

Unofficial bridges (we can only enter three official bridges, but all bridges are tested):

230 lb. $200 scholarships each
Andrew Baker
Matt Lasher

161 lb.
Emma Weller
Kenzie DeLeon
Emily Sirguy

148 lb.
Andrew Borde
Shawn Flanigan

132 lb.
Carson Shamp
Hannah Officer

Johnson and Donisi started the bridge building activity in 1999. They were joined by Unger in 2000. They, and students, have participated in 18 competitions over the past 19 years.

Accompanying photo shows the first place team – Lauren Rankin, Owen Nevarill and Bonnie Sires (left to right) – in the 2017 Popsicle Bridge Competition.

Photo Credit:  Port Angeles School District

For additional assistance, contact:

Tina Smith-O’Hara
Communications and Community Relations Coordinator
Port Angeles School District