|MORGANTON – Victory Christian’s Michael Cartwright nailed his rap and Matt Loman of Polk Early College made the judges laugh.
Entertainment matched the engineering portion of N.C. Department of Transportation’s Region 4 Model Bridge Building Competition on Friday at the Collette Street Rec Center.
With scores for the presentation nearly equal, Loman and his Polk County teammates advanced to the state championship on the strength of a bridge that held more weight than the competition.
“I’ve enjoyed tinkering,” said Loman, who collaborated with teammates every Thursday to practice their skit, review designs for their bridge and glue together replacement models. “Science Club is one of the biggest clubs at our school and everybody did a little something to help.”
Polk Early College scored 73 points and advanced to the championship, which will be held April 20 in Raleigh. Victory Christian finished runner-up. Polk County Middle school won the middle school division with a score of 40 points.
The competition is scored on a combination of a written report, a design drawing, an oral presentation — a music video for Victory Christian, an infomercial for Polk Early College, and an education production for Polk Middle School —in addition to the weight-bearing limit of their bridge. NCDOT engineers and engineering company executives served as judges.
The competition is designed to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to apply their science, technology, engineering and math skills in a real-world scenario.
Victory Christian’s oral presentation included the lyrics, “We’re on a mission to make it to the bridge competition.” Polk Early College’s infomercial skit pitched their bridge, dubbed “Robert Frost V2,” as something that’s extraordinary.
“When you build a bridge, you have to follow a plan,” Polk Early College sophomore Mason Lassiter said. “I learned the importance of triangles — how strong they are — and there are lot of things you can do to make things stronger with less materials.”