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Malden Catholic takes two awards at 2013 Model Bridge Competition

Posted by Christina Jedra  February 22, 2013 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by Malden Catholic High School:


Malden Catholic High School’s Model Bridge Club recently competed in the 2013 Model Bridge Competition sponsored jointly by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section and the Massachusetts Pre-Engineering Program in collaboration with the Northeastern University's NUPrime Program and MassDOT.  Malden Catholic captured second place in the Most Aesthetic Bridge category.

Malden Catholic entered seven bridges in the competition,.  The award-winning bridge was designed and built by sophomore Dan Marino of Winchester with help from fellow sophomores Mark Mozzicato and Connor O’Neill, both of Stoneham and Alejandro DePeña of Medford.  In addition to its pleasing design, the bridge held 97.5 pounds, good for fourth place in the strength category.  The Model Bridge Club is moderated by Science Department Chair, David Chuckran, Ed.D.

More than 200 students from across the state representing over 25 schools dedicated hundreds of hours over three months to design and build their model bridges to exacting specifications.  Constructed of Poly-Panel foam insulation board, manila folders and adhesive, this year’s bridges were designed to span 36-inches, weigh less than one pound, and hold at least 25 pounds.  The competition culminated at Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center with a panel of local experts judging and testing the bridges for aesthetics and strength.

“Malden Catholic’s Model Bridge and Robotics Clubs, and its Introduction to Engineering course, are examples of science and technology initiatives aimed at nurturing students’ curiosity and sparking student interest and excitement in these subjects through hands-on, experiential learning,” explained Stephen O’Neill, mentor of the Model Bridge Club, Malden Catholic trustee and Senior Vice President of Meridian Associates, a civil engineering firm.  “Students at Malden Catholic have the opportunity to learn about the engineering design process and the application of math, science, and technology to create devices and systems that meet human needs.  We hope that these experiences pique the interest of our students and set them on a course for a rewarding career.”

Members of the Model Bridge Club are now competing in the West Point Bridge Design contest sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  In this global on-line design competition students are using a software package developed specially by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to design truss bridges, create structural models and run simulated load tests to evaluate the bridges’ strength, refine the designs to create stronger and lighter bridges, and estimate the cost to construct the bridges.  Teams compete with other virtual bridge designers from around the world for scholarship and notebook computer prizes that will awarded to the top six teams.     

Model Bridge is one of dozens of extra and co-curricular activities offered at Malden Catholic.  Along with its Robotics Club, Model Bridge complements the school’s Introduction to Engineering course within the school's science curriculum.  This course is designed for students who wish to explore the possibility of pursuing an engineering degree in college.  Several engineering disciplines including mechanical, electrical, civil, aerospace, and chemical are explored.  Students become familiar with the engineering design process, problem solving methodology, physical and virtual modeling and approaches to open-ended problems, all helping to develop an innovation focused mindset. 

About Malden Catholic
Malden Catholic High School maintains an 80-year tradition of leading students to achieve academic excellence in a Catholic, familial atmosphere. Annually, 99 percent of Malden Catholic graduates attend college. The Class of 2012 applied to 259 colleges and universities distributed across forty states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Graduates last year received college scholarships with a four-year value of more than $17 million. Recognized for its dedicated faculty, challenging curriculum, spiritual guidance, social outreach, and championship caliber athletic programs, Malden Catholic educates young men from more than 40 communities surrounding Boston. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  Further information on the school may be found at www.maldencatholic.org 

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