THEA Announces 2023 USF-SE Bridgebuilding Competition Winners

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) announced the winners of the 2023 USF-SE Bridgebuilding Competition at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Engineering. The event took place during the USF Engineering Expo on Saturday, February 11, 2023, and was open to middle and high school students living in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties. 

Twenty teams enrolled in this year’s competition. Winning teams worked together to design a bridge made out of balsa wood that could withstand the most weight and pressure before collapsing. Top teams received awards from THEA and invitations to the 2023 FAV Summit. At the summit, the students will get a guided tour and a sneak peek into the future of transportation.

At this year’s competition,  twenty student teams showcased their engineering skills to a packed hour of supporters. The USF-SE Bridgebuilding Competition is an initiative within the agency’s Selmon STEM Scholarship (S3) Program, designed to honor the late Lee Roy Selmon by furthering students’ academic careers and encouraging STEM degrees. Selmon was a National Football League Hall of Fame member and the former USF Athletic Director. 

“Our S3 Program is part of our commitment to reinvest in the community. Events like this are a great opportunity to inspire our future STEM leaders with a competition that stimulates the teamwork, creativity, and innovation required in real-life engineering situations,” said THEA Executive Director and CEO Greg Slater. “THEA is proud to sponsor this annual regional event for our local students.” 

The event’s emcee was Chuck Henson, a former newscaster at Bay News 9. 

View the photos from the competition here.

2023 USF-SE Bridgebuilding Competition Winners 

1st Place High School

Gaither High School, Team The Jenneys, 248 pounds of pressure

2nd Place High School

Cambridge Christian High School, Team Calamity, 218 pounds of pressure

1st Place Middle School

Terrace Community Middle School, Team Three Musketeers, 410 pounds of pressure

2nd Place Middle School

 Terrace Community Middle School, Team The Last Minute Builders, 278 pounds of pressure