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L-Way West students score big in bridge competition

Updated: April 18, 2013 6:05AM



The Lincoln-Way West bridge-building team earned high numbers at the regional competition at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

First place went to senior Alan Burggren with a bridge efficiency of 2,614. Freshman Miranda DeVito earned second place with a bridge efficiency of 2,476.

“The objective of the bridge contest isn’t to build the lightest bridge or hold the most load. Students are competing to build the most efficient bridge,” physics teacher and head bridge-building sponsor Chester Szmurlo said. “Judges compare bridge efficiency by dividing the load that the bridge sustains by the mass of the bridge structure itself. This means that if two bridges are able to support the same load, the bridge which has used the least amount of wood would win because it would have a greater efficiency.”

Both Burggren and DeVito earned the right to advance to the International Bridge Competition in April, making this the third year in a row Lincoln-Way West has qualified.

Lincoln-Way West’s Deanna DiMonte placed 13th with a bridge efficiency of 1,598, and Mike Baio was 14th with a 1,545.

“Lincoln-Way West was the only school to have all four contestants place in the Top 15 of the regional competition,” Szmurlo said. “West has a strong bridge competition. This school year, one in every 10 students built and tested a bridge at the school’s competition in December.”

Staff reports



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