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STEM Students Selected as Finalist in National TRAC Bridge Challenge

Elizabeth Garner, Conner Greavis, and Victoria Friddle hold a model of the bridge they designed. Elizabeth Garner, Conner Greavis, and Victoria Friddle hold a model of the bridge they designed.
A team consisting of three 8th grade students from STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee, Victoria Friddle, Elizabeth Garner, and Connor Greavis, has been selected as a finalist in the National TRAC Bridge Challenge. Only six teams from across the nation were selected to compete in the national competition. Their proposal was chosen out of 250 proposal submissions from 8 different states. The team is making history as they are the first team ever selected from Louisiana. The students, along with their STEM teacher Mrs. Lindsay Stagg, will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah in May for the competition.

The students worked on their proposal in their 8th grade STEM class for over a month. Their work began by conducting research on Truss bridges. Once their research was complete, they learned how to use two different software programs to design their bridge. Modelsmart is a 3D design software that allowed them to build the bridge and test it digitally. Then they used PowerDraft, a drafting software, to create scaled drawings of their bridges. They created a 15-page proposal to submit as a portfolio. Then they built their bridge using only balsa wood and glue. The goal of the project is to have the highest strength to weight ratio (weight the bridge holds divided by the weight of the bridge).