Polk County Early College wins state bridge building competition

Members of Polk County Early College's bridge building team.

Polk County Early College captured top statewide honors Friday in the annual Model Bridge Building Competition sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Carolinas Associated General Contractors.

It marks the first time a Polk County Schools high school has won a state championship in the event. Friday’s result flipped the final of the 2016 competition, in which Franklin Academy of Franklin County placed first ahead of PCEC.

Polk County Middle School placed third in the middle school division, with perennial contender Clarkton School of Discovery in Bladen County winning that class. PCMS did win a $100 prize for having the best presentation in the division.

Four schools competed in each division, earning berths in Friday’s competition by winning regional events in March.

NCDOT and the Carolinas Associated General Contractors have hosted the event annually since 2000 to encourage students to develop math and science skills. Students work in teams, allowing them to also demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving, communication and research abilities. The teams were judged in four categories: written report, oral presentation, design drawing and model efficiency.

The other winners in the competition were:

Second place
Middle School: MSEN-Pre College, Wake County
High School: Franklin Academy, Franklin County

Third place
Middle School: Polk County Middle School, Polk County
High School: North Moore, Moore County

Fourth place
Middle School: Elise Middle School, Moore County
High School: Camden Early College, Camden County

First place teams received $500 each for their schools. Prizes also went to schools finishing in second place ($400), third place ($300) and fourth place ($200).