Village Students Compete In Model Bridge Contest

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Evan Racsko (left) and Emma Strassberg competed in the Model Bridge Building Contest. (Photo by Toby Hatten)
Evan Racsko (left) and Emma Strassberg competed in the Model Bridge Building Contest. (Photo by Toby Hatten)

Two Village School (VS) students, Evan Racsko and Emma Strassberg, recently qualified and competed in the 2016 International Bridge Building Contest, under the auspices of Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Model Bridge Contest was held at the Brookhaven Lab in Upton, NY. This was the first time that VS students participated in this demanding event and they showed a very respectable standing, finishing in the top half of all competitors.

Students were required to design and build model bridges, within predetermined specifications, that would withstand force applied by a pneumatic force machine
to the point of structural failure. Bridges were made of basswood.

VS faculty advisor/science teacher Tobias Hatten explained the significance of the competition in relation to VS’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and
mathematics) program: “The competition represents the capstone of Village School’s Bridge STEM program. The process of model-bridge building—designing, testing, reflecting, redesigning and retesting—provides students with authentic engineering experiences that will help them solve the problems of tomorrow. There is no substitute for the learning that takes place during these activities. At the end of the competition, students left with a great sense of pride even though their bridges had been destroyed in the process.”

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