Roobuilders Go to Nationals


By Heide Barber and Riley Phillips

Photos by Julie Hinckley

Lansing students competed at The International Bridge Building competition this weekend, hosted at John Hopkins University in Baltimore. Juniors Cam Burns, Isaiah Sterling, Alyssa Weigers, and Logan Hope qualified to the national level after placing first at Regionals. “Our bridge that we presented at Regionals, that got us to Nationals, held 70 pounds,” said Burns.

The Roobuilders Regional competition was held February 2 at UMKC and earned “Judges Choice” along with first place. They were invited to E-Week, the greater Kansas City Engineers Luncheon, where the students were recognized for their accomplishments and each earned a $150 scholarship. The students then had to get to work and make a whole new design with new specifications that met the needed requirements.

“We had to build a smaller scale bridge with different rules,” said Burns. Once at the competition the students discovered their bridge did not meet the required specifications by a fraction of an inch due to miscommunication. This unfortunately disqualified them from the competition. However they decided to still test their designs for the fun of it.

“My bridge ended up holding 165 pounds so it was a bittersweet moment, but I’m thankful for the opportunity and will be ready for Nationals next year,” said Burns.

The four juniors have been competing in the Roobuilders bridge building competition since middle school. They had been refining their design and improving it since sixth grade and finally qualified to Nationals this year.

 “It was very rewarding to work with people who you’ve grown up with to create a beautiful product that models something that has potential to help people in the future,” said Wiegers. The team of students hope to continue on with the Bridge Building competition and return to Nationals to redeem themselves.