County schools sweep NCDOT regional bridge building competition

Members of Polk County Early College's team.

Polk County Middle School and Polk County Early College captured first place Friday in the North Carolina Department of Transportion Region 4 Model Bridge Building Competition in Morganton.

For Polk County Middle, the two-time defending state champion, the win in the middle school division is its sixth in seven years at the regional level. Polk County EC won its first high school division regional title, edging Polk County High School for the regional crown.

The two winners advance to the NCDOT state competition, set for April 15 in Raleigh.

In the competition, teams are scored on an oral presentation, written report, drawing of their design and the efficiency of their model in supporting weight.

Polk County Middle School’s winning team included Ian Anderson, Tristen Mistler, Wyatt Rickman and Grant Wooten. Dr. Bob Pettis is the team’s sponsor.

PCEC’s team includes members of The Polk Early College Science Club. The members are Autumn Wilson, Jillian Snyder, Taylor Warren, Nathaniel Watkins, Grayson Greene, Quincy Snyder, Zach Lambert, Virginia Bowyer, Britney Pierce, Sheila Rodriguez and Micheala Nelon. Linda Sutton oversees the team.

“We want to thank Dr. Pettis for his help and also Robert Frost, who gave us advise and loaned us instruments to use,” said Sutton. “We especially thank the district in allowing us to attend the competition and providing the bus and driver and for other support. The students enjoyed getting to know the other students from the high school and middle school who also did very well.”

Polk County High School’s team included Rick Burney, Phil Burney, Alana Seay, Kalob Jackson, Devin Williams, Sam Rhinehart, Samuel Kornmayer, Harrison Sloan, Emmett Zacharias, Dylan Hunt and Dietrich Jackson. Williford Mintz and Leslie Rhinehart are the team’s sponsors.