Newsome High School students are excited to continue participating in STEM competitions after many were canceled due to COVID-19.

Two student teams from Newsome High School secured first and second place at this year’s USF-Selmon Bridge Building Competition.

After months of preparation, 30 teams from the state met in February for the competition hosted by the University of South Florida (USF) and the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA). The teams worked to design a bridge made out of balsa wood with the goal of withstanding the most weight and pressure before collapsing.

The team of Newsome students in first place includes Ava Gasbarro, Jacob Dusnik and Jeremy Temple, with an impressive 248 pounds of pressure. The team in second place, including Muyao Guan, Niki Bordas and David Bordas, recorded 246 pounds of pressure on its bridge.

“It was really rewarding to win because we built all of this from scratch and learned how to design, blueprint, work around problems and find solutions on the way,” says Guan, bridge building team captain.

The top teams received awards from THEA and invitations to the 2024 Florida Automated Vehicles (FAV) Summit, where students will receive a guided tour and a sneak peek into the future of transportation.

Newsome High School’s engagement in competitions extends beyond bridge building. The STEM club members actively participate in events like the Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair, where several projects advanced to the State STEM Fair and the upcoming Science Olympiad States at the University of Florida.

Notably, a project by students Michael Hemingway, Savin Karki and Casey Ayers received the prestigious USF Top Innovator Award for their achievements in innovation. Additionally, Newsome High School’s STEM enthusiasts recently competed at the SeaPerch ROV Competition at the University of Central Florida, securing a remarkable second place.

“As the science department chair and STEM Club sponsor, it is refreshing to see these students work many hours designing, building, testing, analyzing and adjusting their designs,” said Brain Clark, chemistry instructor at Newsome High School. “The teams are completely student-led; I simply purchase supplies and teach them how to safely use tools in my lab two days a week after school.”

Guided by mentors like Clark, the students dedicate extensive hours to their innovations. The success of Newsome High School students serves as inspiration for aspiring young scientists and engineers. With their dedication and determination, these students pave the way to a brighter future for all students.

For more information, please contact the Tampa Highway Expressway Authority at 813-272-6740 or Newsome High School at 813-740-4600.

Previous articleHillsborough County Children’s Services Recently Hosted A Safe Place Awareness Event
Next articleEarly Intervention For Babies Development And Federal Help