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USF-SE Bridge Building Competition

The USF/Selmon Expressway Balsa Wood Bridge Building Competition

Sponsored by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority

An annual event, the design competition is hosted by USF's College of Engineering and sponsored by THEA at USF's Engineering Expo. The competition is open to all High School and Middle School students in the Tampa Bay area.

The competition consists of teams of three middle or high school students who have designed and built model bridges from balsa wood. The competition then tests the load capacities of the bridges. The bridges are put under simulated load tests until the balsa wood cracks beneath the weight. Bridges are judged on craftsmanship, originality, design drawing and most importantly, load capacity.

Winning teams receive a traveling trophy for the school and individual trophies for each team member.

Get involved with the competition and learn more on the Bridge Building Competition's website.

Balsa Wood Bridge Building Competition

Photos from the 2023 Wood Bridge Building Competition

Click the video below to check out the fun from the 2016 Wood Bridge Building Competition


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