Chicago-Area High School Students to Participate in Bridge Building Competition at Illinois Tech

Contest Started in 1975 by Alumnus Roy Coleman, Who Was a High School Physics Teacher


Social Media Links

Bridge Building Competition 2018

CHICAGOThe 45th Annual Chicago Regional Bridge Building Competition will be held at Illinois Institute of Technology on January 28, 2020. The competition promotes the study of physics principles while giving high school students hands-on experience in the field of engineering on a college campus.

Approximately 100 model bridgeswhich were designed and built by Chicago-area high school studentswill be stress tested to upwards of 100 pounds. Participating students were winners of their school-wide competitions, coming from high schools such as Whitney Young, Walter Payton College Prep, Neuqua Valley, Evanston Township, Maine South, Lincoln-Way East, and Bloom Trail.

The bridges are constructed from sticks of basswood, provided by competition organizers, with strict rules and guidelines that change each year.

The two bridges that can hold the most weight in each of the three regional contestsChicago, North Suburban, and South Suburbanwill advance to the international competition, which will be held on May 9, 2020, at Illinois Tech. In the past, the international competition has drawn students from 17 states, Canada, and Indonesia.


INTERVIEW POSSIBILITIES: Students, judges, and Carlo Segre, Illinois Tech physics professor and competition organizer

WHEN: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Tuesday, January 28, 2020

WHERE: Illinois Institute of Technology, Hermann Hall, 3241 S. Federal St., Chicago

PARKING: Paid parking in lot at the corner of 32nd and State streets, just north of The McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC). Limited spots behind Hermann Hall.


Roy Coleman, an Illinois Tech alumnus and high school physics teacher, founded the competition in 1975. The aim of the contest is to teach students about vectors.

The 2019 Chicago Region winning bridge weighed ½ ounce (14.01 grams) and held 90 pounds (41 kilograms) before breaking. The student who built the bridge was Julian Bendy from Lincoln-Way East High School. 

Click here for more information


CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS (Credit: Illinois Institute of Technology)


Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused research university. Illinois Tech is the only university of its kind in Chicago, and its Chicago location offers students access to the world-class resources of a great global metropolis. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. One of 21 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities, Illinois Tech provides an exceptional education centered on active learning, and its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Illinois Tech uniquely prepares students to succeed in professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Visit