Media Advisory: Teens build model bridges–only to destroy them

A Middle Tennessee high school student tests her bridge at the 2016 competition.

Area teens will watch their model bridges break apart dramatically Saturday, March 4, at the 9th Annual Music City Bridge Building Competition, organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers and Janey Camp, a Vanderbilt University civil engineering research associate professor.

About 20 students from area high schools build bridges in advance and then add weight to them until the bridges collapse – or the students concede. The exercise teaches them about structural efficiency (mass of the bridge vs. load supported) and moves them toward higher education and careers in civil engineering. The event is held each year in Vanderbilt’s Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability, which is devoted to developing new materials and devices to ensure infrastructure is safe and create ways to detect failure before it happens.

WHAT: 9th Annual Music City Bridge Building Competition

WHEN: Saturday, March 4. Bridge check-in at 9 a.m., weight testing at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability, 566 Mainstream Drive, Suite 600, Nashville, TN 37228. Parking is free and plentiful in this Metro Center location.

ON-SITE CONTACT: Call or text Janey Camp at 615-500-9960