Signature Programs
Bridge Building Competition

Junior wins annual bridge-busting competition

The carefully crafted bridge made by Alex Otero '19 splintered spectacularly like the other 16 on the Lewis Family Auditorium stage during the annual Upper School bridge-busting assembly March 6. But Otero's basswood-stick creation supported 60.6 pounds before its dramatic collapse – holding more weight for its size than any other entry – giving it first place. Joshua Abrams '18 earned second and Emma Broad '19, third place.
Physics teacher Paul Natland '02 emceed the competition as always, kicking it off with his traditional call, "Let's get ready to crumble!" as students roared and music blared. He was assisted on stage by science teacher Doug Heller '80. Science department chair Jay Salon and faculty member Robert DuBard also contributed to the interdisciplinary competition, which blends engineering, physics, architecture and even artistry – Sears D’Alemberte '18, who finished 10th overall, won first place in the aesthetic category.

The bridges featured during today’s ear-splitting, hair-raising competition advanced from a field of about 100 entries, surviving two earlier rounds. During today's final round, the bridges were weighted with an increasing load whose count in pounds was displayed on a giant screen. One by one, the bridges busted as students responded with oohs, aaahs and groans. You can watch a video of the full event here.

Otero’s bridge weighed 20.65 grams and earned an efficiency rating of 1388.2. Abrams offered a 17.82-gram bridge, withstood 44.0 pounds before splintering, and displayed an efficiency of 1186.2. Broad was close behind (14.50, 35, 1176.2). Evan Azari '18 earned fourth overall (23.48, 58.2, 1174.6); Carlos Esber '18, fifth (22.96, 53.0, 1098.4).

In the aesthetic competition, Magnus Oberg '21 got second and Zachary Vuong '19, third.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.