SWOSU Structural Engineering Contest Attracts 257 Middle School & High School Students


Southwestern Oklahoma State University recently held its 11th annual structural engineering competition on the Weatherford campus. 

The event, hosted by the SWOSU Technology Department, was attended by 257 students representing 16 schools. 

According to SWOSU professor Ric Baugher, middle school students constructed 16” tall towers using no more than 20 feet of 1/8” square balsa wood to see which tower could hold the most weight. The most successful tower holding 396 pounds was built by Levi Melendy and Cody Gordon of Elk City Junior High School. 

High school students built 18” long bridges from 3/32” basswood with the winner being the bridge that was the most efficient. A bridge made from more material would lose to a bridge made with less material if they held the same amount of weight. The most efficient bridge was built by Tyler Christian from Mountain View/Gotebo High School. His bridge weighed 43.44 grams and held 112 pounds.

Schools and teachers who attended were: Elk City Junior High, Danny Pruitt; Lakeview Middle School (Yukon), Jo-An Burcham; Altus Junior High School, Rick Bottom; Rush Springs Middle School, Wayne Cunningham; Watonga Middle School,  Bill Wickware; Independence Middle School (Yukon), Josh Reed; Carnegie Middle School, Chris Buster; Hinton Middle School, Matt Pugh; Geary High School, Andy Duffield; Roland High School, Steven O’Neal; Boone-Apache Middle School, Seth Greybeal; Purcell Junior High School, Paul Wallenberg; Thomas-Fay-Custer, J. C. Scott; Clinton Middle School, Monte Schimmer; Chandler High School, Kent Barton; and Mountain View-Gotebo, Toby Hawkins.

 SWOSU conducts a structural engineering contest each November.