Congratulations to the USF-SE Bridge Building Competition Winners!

Congratulations to the USF-SE Bridge Building Competition Winners!

We are proud to announce the winners from the USF-SE Bridge Building Competition and want to congratulate all the teams that competed in this year’s competition. The annual competition is part of the University of South Florida (USF) Engineering Expo and a partnership between the USF College of Engineering, the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA).

The Engineering Expo seeks to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the lives of students grades K-12 through interactive displays, projects, and interactions with professionals and undergraduate students in the engineering field.

A feature of the Expo every year is the USF-SE Bridge Building Competition, where middle and high school students from Tampa Bay area schools compete to design and build bridges made from balsa wood and then test to see which bridge can withstand the most weight before collapsing.

The competition began in the 1980’s as a student initiative to connect USF to Tampa Bay area students and provide a fun enrichment opportunity in STEM disciplines. THEA is a proud supporter of the bridge building competition. It is our favorite event of the year and allows us to show the fun side of engineering and teach young people the value of teamwork, planning, and creativity.

Middle and high school teams, comprised of three students each, competed against other teams in their age group to build and test their bridge. The bridges were each tested against a strength machine which adds weight until the bridge breaks under the pressure. It is exciting to watch as each bridge design is tested.

The 2019 USF-SE Bridge Building Contest winners were:


Middle School Category Winners (Pounds of Pressure Withstood):

1st Place: Cambridge Christian (Meister Dub_71) 456

2nd Place: Terrace Middle School (Bridge to Nowhere) 405

3rd Place: Terrace Middle School (Underfunded) 298


High School Category Winners (Pounds of Pressure Withstood):

1st Place: Newsome High (Not Last Place) 420

2nd Place: Newsome High (Mountain) 335

3rd Place: Lennard High (Longhorns) 121

A separate award, the Efficiency Award, was presented to the team whose bridge withstood the highest amount of pressure relative to the bridge’s total weight.

Efficiency Award: Cambridge Christian (Meister Dub_71) 414%


Winners of the USF-SE Bridge Building Competition will share a trophy that will travel to each school. Students from the winning teams are also eligible to receive a Selmon STEM Scholarship upon high school graduation.

We thank all the students for participating in this fun event and congratulate them on their excellent work. We’re already looking forward to next year’s competition!