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Students from across state compete in TRAC™ Bridge Building Challenge

Middle and high school students from around the state recently competed in the annual Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC™) Bridge Building Challenge at the Clyde Muse Center on the Rankin campus of Hinds Community College in Pearl.

Students from East Union Attendance Center participated in the event.

 East Union Attendance Center, Blue Springs – Pictured: Rett Johnson, Jorja Roberson, Caleb Johnson, Annalise Bailey, Callie Smith, Joshua Duley, Will Duley, Noah Watts, Kye Roberts, Hannah Duley, Carley Hitt and Zach Crump

TRAC™ is an education outreach program of the Mississippi Department of Transportation and introduces students to a variety of career opportunities in the field of engineering.  The program teaches students how to apply math and science concepts to help identify and resolve engineering barriers in the transportation industry.

MDOT utilizes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education as a learning tool in the program and provides each team with a TRAC Challenge Entry Kit, materials and guidelines to construct a bridge. Each participating team then submits a portfolio with their bridge design, a PowerPoint presentation and the strength-to-weight ratio of their bridge.

“This TRAC™ competition gives students the opportunity to learn about bridge building through hands-on experience,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath, P.E. “MDOT’s goal is to inspire young students to explore the world of engineering while they have fun learning about the functionality of bridges in a transportation system.”

During the competition, teams present their PowerPoint presentations and test their bridge for mechanics and strength-to-weight ratio. The top three teams in each grade category are honored.

This competition displays how Mississippi’s students are learning about transportation while excelling in STEM education. For more information about MDOT’s STEM education outreach programs, visit

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