Through the dedication of volunteers, teachers, parents and sponsors, in 2014 the Southern Nevada Student Model Bridge Building Competition (SMBBC) celebrated its 25th year of breaking bridges. The SMBBC is split into three divisions: elementary, middle and high school. The contest’s objective is to test the design and construction of bass wood bridges to determine which student has engineered and constructed the more efficient bridge.

The bridges can be designed and built by individual students or teams of students whom compete for school prizes and trophies. For the high school division, the top two high school finishers from the southern Nevada region are eligible to advance to the International Contest. The construction of model bridges promotes the study and application of fundamental physics and engineering principles as well as experience the life of an engineer; designing structures to a set of specifications and seeing them perform their function.

Historically, the regional competition has required the testing of more than 400 bridges on the day of the regional competition.   Some of the participating schools hold preliminary contests to determine their top ten performing bridges, which are ultimately entered into the regional competition. Participation in the Southern Nevada SMBBC at the preliminary school events and the regional competition is estimated to be over 1,800 students, which account for the greater than 1,200 bridge kits distributed to local schools each year.

The contest success is created by the participation of teachers, parents and students, and from the support provided by our volunteers and sponsors. We encourage any interested students or teachers to participate. Contact us for more information on how to start a bridge building competition program at your school.