Chris Schulz Published

Annual Student Engineering Contest Kicks Off

Students wearing light blue shirts are viewed from behind while sitting at a computer. Over their shoulder can be seen the screen of a computer, which shows a bridge design
Students work with an engineering application to design a bridge as part of the 2019 Bridge Design and Build Contest.
Courtesy of West Virginia Department of Transportation

The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) wants students interested in engineering to design a bridge. 

Submissions for the 23rd annual West Virginia Bridge Design & Build Contest are now open. 

The contest is designed to encourage STEM education and help address a shortage of engineers. More than a third of WVDOT’s current job listings are for engineering positions.

Middle and high school students are tasked with designing the lowest cost bridge using bridge design software developed specifically for students.  

Finalists will be invited to compete for cash prizes at WVU Tech in Beckley in the spring. There, they will build a balsa bridge to see how much force the model will stand before collapsing.

Every student who participates in the contest gets a free BridgeWalk tour for themselves and their families.

Registration is free. Students have until Wednesday, March 1, 2024, to register, download their bridge design software and submit their bridge design. All materials for the competition, including a YouTube tutorial by Secretary of Transportation, Jimmy Wriston, are available on the website.