ACLC Students Design Winning Bridge

Megan Lam, Henry Zhu, Winnie Zhou, Zobeir Hamid, Sandy Evsanaa, show off their suspension bridge that won first place in a recent Engineering Alliance for the Arts competition. Photo by Carlton Grizzle

Alameda Community Learning Center’s (ACLC) engineering design and graphics students Winnie Zhou, Megan Lam, Sandy Evsanaa, Henry Zhu and Zobeir Hamid took home the first-place prize for their bridge design in the Engineering Alliance for the Arts (EAA) competition held on April 26 in San Francisco. 

The winning entry, “Soaring High,” is a cable-stayed bridge with counter-balanced support towers and an S-curved deck. The judges praised the project for its simple elegance, strength and beautiful design.

“Bridges are a big deal in the Bay Area and the EAA celebrates this with their annual bridge design competition for high schools throughout the region,” said Carlton Grizzle, ACLC engineering and math facilitator. “This competition stresses the important fusion between engineering and art. The kids love it because it’s a great opportunity to combine creativity with a technical subject.”

The EAA Student Impact Project brings structural engineers and design professionals into the classroom to teach and engage students in the design and construction of original to-scale model bridges with structural integrity.  Students must use rudimentary materials like foamboard, string, elastic cord, pins, glue, ping pong balls and construction paper. 

The annual event is the culmination of this 10-week program. Teams compete to win a “design contract” by designing and building a bridge, writing an essay describing their bridge and the design experience and demonstrating their bridge’s functionality and aesthetic appeal to a panel of professional engineers. Each member of the ACLC winning team received $100 and a commemorative plaque.