Milford high students build record-setting bridge
Max Ayotte, 16, Jackson Whitehouse, 17, and Tristan Kazo, 16, are the state winners of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s “TRAC” competition. The Transportation and Civil Engineering program is intended to give kids a better understanding of what goes into planning and designing the roads, bridges and highways in the Granite State.
“We overcomplicated it,” said Jackson.
With Kazo taking the lead designing the bridge on engineering software called AutoCAD, the team went back to the basics — an arch made with laminated popsicle sticks that gave the structure a lot of strength, and trusses angled at varying degrees to provide stability.
“We took a typical bridge and added our own ideas to it,” said Ayotte.
And though there were awards given out at the competition for the most original design and the most classic design, Xydias’ team was going for strength.
The team members said they may go back next year and try to break their own record, but they’re really not interested in making bridges full time. Though the goal of TRAC is to encourage kids to consider careers in transportation and civil engineering, Ayotte and Kazo want to be mechanical engineers, and Jackson is hoping to join the Navy, fly planes and study aeronautic engineering.