LATROBE, PA – Students from Greensburg Salem High School took home the top three prizes at the 14th annual Saint Vincent College Pasta Bridge Engineering Contest, held at the Fred M. Rogers Center.
Members of the first-place team from Greensburg Salem were Kevin Burkhardt and Adam Nichols, who constructed a bridge out of uncooked pasta and glue that withstood 38.5 pounds before buckling. Burkhardt and Nichols were also the recipients of the Natalie Carbone Mangini Most Aesthetic Bridge Award.
Greensburg Salem’s Noah Calisti and Chase Clemence placed second in the weight-bearing competition, while the Greensburg Salem trio of Ben Chapmen, Michael Ruggieri and Sarah Uhall placed third.
The Hempfield Area High School team of Emily McCaffrey, Lydia Queen and Daniel Sierk won the Engineering Design Award.
A total of 21 bridges were entered into the competition that included teams of students from nine local high schools: Apollo Ridge, Franklin Regional, Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield Area, Jeannette, Norwin, Penn-Trafford and Yough.
The event was co-sponsored by the Carbone family, DeLallo Italian Marketplace, Pantalone Funeral Home, Michael Baker International, Gibson-Thomas Engineering, the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania – The International Bridge Conference, Kennametal, Mine Safety Authority (MSA) and Saint Vincent College’s Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing.
Judges for the competition included Binky Sargent, manager of materials analysis at Kennametal; Matt Burns of Gibson-Thomas Engineering; and Bill Gordon of Michael Baker International.
The competition aims to increase high school students’ awareness about the role engineering plays in their lives and the career opportunities in the field, providing an opportunity for students to collaborate on the design and construction of their bridges in a fun and engaging way.
PHOTO 1: First-place winners Adam Nichols and Kevin Burkhardt with Dr. Stacy Birmingham, chair of the SVC Engineering Department (far left) and event co-organizer Vince Mangini (far right).
PHOTO 2: Second-place winners Noah Calisti and Chase Clemence with Birmingham and Mangini.
PHOTO 3: Mangini presents Ben Chapmen with the third-place award (teammates Sarah Uhall and Michael Ruggieri not pictured).
PHOTO 4 (from left to right): Emily McCaffrey (Hempfield Area High School), Binky Sargent (Kennametal), Daniel Sierk (HAHS), Lydia Queen (HAHS), Bill Gordon (Michael Baker International) and Matt Burns (Gibson-Thomas).
A full photo gallery from the event is available on the Saint Vincent College Flickr account.