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AMSE Hosts Model Bridge Building Contest March 9

Bridge-Building-Logo13Middle school and high school students have pre-registered 83 basswood model bridges for testing to determine the highest structural efficiency in the East Tennessee Model Bridge Building Contest on March 9 at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge.

Pre-registered basswood model bridges, built to certain specifications, have been entered from Bearden High School, Knoxville; Oak Ridge High, Oak Ridge, Blackman High, Murfreesboro; Christ Legacy Academy, Athens and Home schools.

The object of this Model Bridge Building Contest is to see who can design, construct and test the most efficient bridge within prescribed size and weight specifications, that is capable of supporting the greatest load per unit of mass. The construction and testing of model bridges promotes the study and application of the fundamental principles of physics and develops hands-on skills through bridge construction. Model bridges are intended to be simplified versions of real-world bridges, which are designed to accept a load in any position and permit the load to travel across the entire bridge.

On March 9, students Grades (7 – 12) can also register their model bridges from 8:30 am – 11 am in the AMSE lobby. The public is invited to observe the Aesthetics judging at 10 am in the AMSE lobby and the Bridge Testing beginning at 11 am in the AMSE Auditorium, concluding with the Awards Ceremony.

The Middle School students (grades 7 – 9) and High School students (grades 9 – 12) will compete for the top three places in each division. Ninth graders can select whether they would rather enter their bridge in the Middle School or High School division. The top three winners will receive a trophy in the Middle School division. The top three Senior High winners each receive a trophy and cash awards of $150 first, $100 second and $50 third, with a like amount of cash awarded to their school. The top two Senior High winners advance to the International Model Bridge Building Contest on April 27 at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

Sponsors of the East Tennessee Model Bridge Building Contest are the American Museum of Science and Energy, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers and the AMSE Foundation.

The American Museum of Science and Energy, located at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge, is open Monday – Saturday from 9 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1 – 5 pm. Admission is Adults $5, Seniors (65+) $4, Students (6 – 17) $3 and Children (5 and under) no charge. AMSE members are no charge. Group rates are available for 20 or more with advance reservations. AMSE Membership, good for 12 months from purchase, are Family $40, Grandparents $35, Individuals $25 and Family & Friends $75. AMSE members receive unlimited museum visits and free admission to 250 museums that participate in the ASTC Passport Program.. AMSE members also receive discounts in the Discovery Shop, discounts of classes, workshops, camp and birthday parties. For more information on AMSE memberships, exhibits, programs and events, visit To schedule a group visit, call AMSE at (865) 576-3200.

Contact:  Lissa Clarke
Public Information Officer
American Museum of Science and Energy
Tel. (865) 576-3218
March 5, 2012



300 S Tulane,
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Phone: (865) 576-3200


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Sunday: 1 - 5 pm

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