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Eighth-Grade Students Win Engineering Competition

The Truss Crushers, a team comprised of Camille Opher '26 and Cooper Grundner '26, won first place in the Middle School Division of the 2022 Delaware Bridge Design Competition. Hosted annually by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), this hands-on engineering competition aims to engage students interested in the math, science, and engineering fields. The program is designed to encourage students to address real-world problems and inspire them to consider careers in transportation and civil engineering.
The competition required students to use Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and 3-D modeling software to design and detail plans for a specific type of truss bridge that offers high load capabilities and an economical weight. Competing teams also developed proposals and presentations that outlined their designs, which were reviewed by professionals in Delaware’s engineering community. Participation in the Delaware Bridge Design Competition and all associated software and materials were free to all participating schools.
The Truss Crushers earned $1,500 for winning the top prize, an award plaque for Sanford, and individual trophies for each competitor. Prize money for the competition was awarded by Bridges to a Brighter Future, a local non-profit organization.

Sanford Head of Middle School Emily Amendum commended the team for winning first place and for successfully deciphering and following truly complex and difficult guidelines, noting: "The culminating step of the competition required Camille and Cooper to share an extremely well-organized and coherent presentation with a panel of engineers. These dedicated students invested an enormous amount of time, effort, and energy into this hands-on engineering project, and learned the valuable lesson that hard work pays off."

This year's competition, which recognized middle school and high school entrants, was held virtually on May 19, 2022. DelDOT will look to bring the competition back in-person next year and hopes to expand the event to new and greater heights.

Since its inception, the Delaware Bridge Design Competition has seen over 140 teams and more than 400 students compete in this event. The competition was made possible by generous volunteers from DelDOT’s Bridge Section and engineering consultants from around the state.
To learn more about the program, visit https://deldot.gov/Programs/BridgeDesignComp/index.shtml.

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