Fourteen Waukegan High School students journeyed to the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois on May 1st to present their “Bridge To The Future” to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Waukegan was one of the schools selected from across the state to study the issues associated with designing and building a sustainable bridge that was also ecologically friendly. After three months of after-school study and collaboration about bridge design, the students made a dynamic presentation that was very well received by everyone who attended.
Waukegan High School received a $5,000.00 grant in January 2012 from the Illinois Department of Economic Development as part of a state‐wide initiative to inspire students to immerse themselves in problem-based learning focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics challenges. The Illinois Innovation and Talent grant paid for a field trip the students made to various bridges it in Lake and McHenry counties and for materials needed to build mock-‐ups.
Armed with the knowledge gained through the in field research, the students returned to the school to continue to explore issues associated with bridge design, materials, as well as environmental impact. In the next few months they created about seven different bridge designs.
The final design was a combination of the best of the designs that the students created and discussed during their work.
The students who finished the project were: Gilberto Colin, Mariana Garcia, Jacob Grieder, Eduardo Guadarrama, Jacqueline Guzman, Arturo Martinez, Javier, Martinez, Melissa Milan, Melina Millan, Javier Morales, Frida Muro, Leslie Parra, Maria Roman, and Lety Vara.
WHS staff volunteered hundreds of hours to guide, challenge and support the students in their successful efforts. They included: Ms.Karen Frank, Ms. Jackie Hogan, and Ms. Sue Dunmore from the Science Department. Mr. Matt Foster from the Mathematics Department and Mr. Geary Gaspord from the Department of Business, Engineering and Applied Technology and Project Lead The Way.
– Contributed by Mr. Barry Gallagher, Academic Chairman: Business, Engineering & Applied Technology with Ennina Solache, Brookside junior