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Balsa Bridge Middle School Competition

First Annual

Balsa Bridge Middle School Competition

Building model bridges promotes the study and application of physics and engineering and help students develop “hands-on” skills. Participating students get to experience what it is to be an engineer, designing structures to a set of specifications and then see them perform their function. Bring your team and build the lightest bridge capable of supporting the heaviest load. Teams design, build and load-test a 36” scaled bridge using balsa wood and wood glue. Teams will be made up of 4-5 students who will design, construct and test the bridge at MU College of Engineering.

Grades: 6-8
Date: Friday, April 12, 2019
Sponsored by: University of Missouri College of Engineering
Registration: Online Application


Student awards will be given to the team with the first, second and third highest score. Awards will also be given to top ranking team’s teacher/mentor.

October 22, 2018: Deadline for mentor to submit application and letter of intent.

December 4, 2018: Submit computer design and interim report.

December 19, 2018: Kits will be mailed to schools.

February 22, 2019: Submit final report.

April 12, 2019: Bridge testing and competition on the Mizzou campus.

Schedule to come.

Students interested in competing in the Balsa Bridge Middle School Competition should:

  • Find a teacher or counselor to act as a mentor for the duration of the project.
  • Gather a team of 2-6 classmates.
  • Write a paragraph explaining your interest in the competition.

Mentors interested in bring a team(s) to competition should:

  • Gather a team of 3-6 students.
  • Consult with school officials to discuss the possibility of getting school credit.
  • Determine and original team name.
  • Complete the online application for the team.
  • Write a paragraph explaining your team’s interest in the competition.
  • Obtain parental permission as needed.


Balsa Bridge Online Application

Competition rules will be posted after the October 12, 2018 application deadline has passed.

Student Awards

First Place

Each student on the winning team receives:

  • $500 UM System Scholarship (useable at UMKC, S&T, UMSL, Columbia)
  • Mizzou Engineering Summer Camp Scholarship
  • Trophy
  • Engineering apparel

Second Place

Each student on the second-place team receives:

  • Mizzou Engineering Summer Camp Scholarship
  • Trophy
  • Engineering apparel

Third Place

 Each student on the third-place team receives:

  • Trophy
  • Engineering apparel


Mentor Awards

First Place:

  • $300 classroom stipend

Second Place:

  • $200 classroom stipend

Third Place:

  • $100 classroom stipend
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