5th Annual Mahoning Valley Miniature Bridge Building Competition (MVMBBC)

Bridge Building Contest

During the National Engineers’ Week 2012, the 5th Annual MVMBBC was held on Friday, February 24, 2012, from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University. A total of 31 teams from 17 different high schools participated this year.

Teams arrived in the morning with their teacher/advisor and constructed their bridges on site, to meet the design specifications established by the competition. After allowing for lunch and glue drying time, bridges were inspected for adherence to design specifications and load-tested until failure. The winning bridge was chosen based on meeting the design criteria and the most efficient load carrying capacity to structure weight ratio. Winning 1st place was Lowellville High School, Team 1 with Carmen Donofiro, Randy Pavlicko and Bryan Schirald; Lowellville High School, Team 2 came in 2nd place with Dean Donatelli, Eric Inskeep and Michael Willliams. Both teams are coached by Travis Williams. This is the 3rd time in 5 years that Lowellville High School has won 1st place in the competition. Winning 3rd place was Niles-M1. The winning team achieved a load to weight ratio/structure efficiency of 1243.

The event involves design and construction of a balsa wood bridge followed by a load testing until failure. The goal of the MVMBBC is to promote civil engineering as a career choice to students, and to provide students with an educational opportunity to apply their knowledge to a real-world application. High school students in the Mahoning and Trumbull Counties are strongly encouraged to participate in this event since it will expose them to some basics of engineering design.

The competition has been organized and supported since 2008 by: Civil & Environmental Engineering at Youngstown State University; Mahoning County Engineer’s Office; Trumbull County Engineer’s Office; and ms consultants, inc.