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Students compete in bridge-building competition

Melinda McGrath

Melinda McGrath

JACKSON — Yesterday, middle and high school students from around the state competed in the Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Bridge Building Competition at the Hilton Garden Inn (King Edward Hotel) in Jackson.

The TRAC program introduces students to a wide variety of career opportunities in the field of engineering and teaches students how to apply math and science concepts to help identify and resolve engineering barriers in the transportation system.

Initially, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) provided each team with a TRAC Challenge Entry Kit, materials and guidelines to construct a bridge. Each participating team then submitted a portfolio with their bridge design, a PowerPoint presentation and the strength-to-weight ratio of the bridge.

“This TRAC Competition gives students hands-on learning in bridge building and an opportunity to fully understand the purpose and function of bridges,” said MDOT executive director Melinda McGrath. “Participating students get an in-depth look at the functionality of bridges in transportation and how to improve them.”

In yesterday’s state finals, the teams presented their PowerPoint presentations and tested their bridge for mechanics and strength-to-weight ratio. Prizes were given to the top three teams in each grade category.

The 2014 State TRAC Bridge Building Competition winners are:


7th and 8th Grade:

First Place – Long Beach Middle School

Second Place – Booneville Middle School

Third Place – Guntown Middle School


9th and 10th Grade:

First Place – Mantachie High School

Second Place – Tupelo High School

Third Place – Booneville High School


11th and 12th Grade:

First Place – West Lauderdale High School

Second Place – Tupelo High School

Third Place – Pontotoc Ridge Career and Technical Center


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  1. Glad job to Tupelo High School for getting into Second Place. So happy for you guys!!!

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