Illiana bridge-building team competes in IIT competition

by Dominic Turkstra, Illiana journalism student

LANSING, Ill. (February 2, 2018) – On January 23, Illiana’s bridge-building team competed in the Illinois Institute of Technology’s (IIT) regional competition. Juniors Sam Boonstra and Elizabeth DeYoung captured seventh- and eighth-place finishes.

Mr. Arie Van Ek coached the team, which included seniors Derek VanProoyen and Gracie Bultema and juniors Boonstra, Ashley Clark, and DeYoung.

When constructing the model bridges, students use basswood since it is light and durable, and it holds glue well. The contest involves seeing which bridge designs are capable of carrying the most weight with the least mass.

Prior to the IIT competition, Boonstra had built the winning bridge in Illiana’s competition. Boonstra’s bridge boasted an efficiency of 2,056, just beating runner-up Elizabeth DeYoung’s bridge with its efficiency of 1,846.

Bridge Efficiency is the mathematical ratio of the load held by a bridge divided by its own mass.

Both Boonstra and Deyoung showed improvement in their bridge design between the Illiana competition and the IIT competition. Boonstra’s efficiency increased to 2,317, and Deyoung’s to 2,304.

Mr. Van Ek has been doing bridge-building with Illiana students for about 15 years.

The winning teams at the IIT competition were awarded prizes such as cameras and tee shirts.

Illiana Christian High School is currently located at 2261 Indiana Avenue in Lansing. For more information, call 708-474-0515.

 

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