LBJ Express Challenges Middle School Students in Bridge Building Competition

Contact: Robert Hinkle
LBJ Infrastructure Group
(682) 334-5470

lbj-expressDALLAS – June 30, 2017– On June 14, 2017, the LBJ Express team hosted one day of a three-day STEM summer camp called Destination Discovery. This camp was held at Barbara Bush Middle School and was organized by the Carrollton Farmers Branch Education Foundation, CFB Giving. It is the first of its kind for the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District (CFB ISD). On this particular day, the LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express teams challenged students in a bridge building competition, The LBJ Express Bridge Design Challenge. The LBJ and NTE teams brought 19 volunteers including 10 engineers to teach a total of 120 middle school students.

To kick off the day, LBJ and NTE engineers discussed civil engineering and how it relates to daily transportation. They introduced different types of bridges and three types of stresses that can be applied to bridge building. Students were divided into groups of six and released into separate classrooms to begin working on their bridges. Each engineer and volunteer had their own group of students to supervise and assist with questions as needed.

The goal of the STEM activity was to build the strongest bridge possible in 90 minutes. Other challenge criteria were as follows: the bridge needed to span at least 3 feet, students could only use the K’nex pieces provided and each bridge had to hold at least one ream of paper to qualify in the competition. The teams raced against the clock to complete the challenge. Throughout the activity, the students were encouraged by engineers to test their bridges for weak points and make the necessary adjustments.

The judges were pleased to find that every bridge met the minimum criteria to compete. Teams were recognized in the following categories: The Strongest Bridge, The Most Creative Bridge and The Most Cost Effective Bridge. At the end of the day, each student successfully took the information that he or she learned from the LBJ and NTE engineers and was able to apply it to the STEM activity. Overall, The LBJ Express Bridge Design Challenge at CFB Giving’s Destination Discovery STEM summer camp was a success as students excelled at bridge building, teamwork, creativity and presentation skills.

The LBJ Express was one of three corporate sponsors to partner with CFB Giving and CFB ISD for this three-day STEM summer camp. Other corporate sponsors were DART and Essilor.

discovery bridge

Destination Discovery Bridge Building

bridge test

Bridge Testing