Physics to Sponsor 43rd Annual Chicago Regional Bridge Contest

The 43rd Annual Chicago Regional Bridge Contest is set to take place on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 4 p.m. in Hermann Hall Auditorium. The event is organized and sponsored by the Department of Physics and is open to the public.

Originated by Roy Coleman (PHYS ’64), the contest gives students from Chicago-area high schools the opportunity to come to Illinois Tech and compete in the construction and testing of model bridges designed and judged under a set of specifications. Each student is given a standard kit to build from and is only allowed to use conventional adhesives. During the competition, bridges are tested for efficiency by adding weight to each bridge until it reaches its breaking point. The event promotes the study and application of the fundamental principles of physics and engineering and helps high school students develop hands-on skills and academically oriented extracurricular experience.

Coleman devised the idea for the bridge contest when he was teaching at Morgan Park High School. There, he began holding this competition for all of his classes. With the success of the event at Morgan Park, he decided to propose the idea of a multi-school competition to Illinois Tech. The idea was well-received, gained funding from the National Defense of Education Act (NDEA), and has been taking place annually at Illinois Tech ever since.

To learn more about this year’s Chicago Regional Bridge Contest, visit the website.